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Anat Cell Biol

Published online November 11, 2021


Copyright © Korean Association of ANATOMISTS.

Cytological, histochemical, and ultrastructural study of human foetal liver of various gestation with future implications in segmental resection: an anatomical perspective

Arpan Haldar1 , Manisha Rajanand Gaikwad2 , Apurba Patra3 , Soumya C. Bhattacharya4

1Department of Anatomy, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Deoghar, 2Department of Anatomy, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar, 3Department of Anatomy, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bathinda, 4Department of Anatomy, ESI-PGIMSR, Kolkata, India

Correspondence to:Apurba Patra
Department of Anatomy, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bathinda 151001, India
E-mail: apurba.cnmc03@gmail.com

Received: July 22, 2021; Revised: September 13, 2021; Accepted: September 24, 2021

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The liver is the largest gland of the gastrointestinal tract having both exocrine and endocrine functions. Developmentally it arises as a ventral outgrowth from the gut endoderm during 3rd week of intrauterine life. The foetal liver is very important because of its synthetic and hemopoietic potential. The present work aimed to see the detailed histogenesis and development of the foetal liver by cytological, immunohistochemical and ultrastructural study. The liver tissue of nine aborted foetuses of various gestational age were studied. For cytology: special stains like Masson trichrome, periodic acid Schiff and reticulin were used, immunohistochemical staining was performed with triple antibodies (c-myc, Ki-67 and Ber-H2), and for ultrastructure: aluminium mounted specimens were coated with gold and argon gas and observed under scanning electron microscopy (EM). Cytology and immunohistochemistry showed the development of duct patterns and hemopoietic patterns in all stages of fetogenesis. The ductal plate was marked by the layer of dark brown staining cells at the edge of two portal tracts. The haemopoietic cells with sinusoids and aggregation of hepatocytes were observed in the early weeks of gestation. EM showed tree-like branching of a portal canal depicting hepatic segmentation of foetal liver. The organizational changes in lobular pattern, duct pattern, and microstructure of liver during fetogenesis are very crucial to achieve the adult morphology in feature. Histogenesis of the foetal liver follows a multistep process depending upon the gestational age, any deviation from normalcy may lead to structural and functional abnormality later in life.

Keywords: Hepatocytes, Immunohistochemistry, Cytology, Inclusion bodies

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