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BIOL 2P93 (93)

Liver Physiology

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Jenny Janke

Liver Physiology I. Introduction a. Normal blood flow thru liver: i. Portal Vein—70% blood flow, 1200ml/min; Pressure =7mmHg ii. Hepatic Artery—30% flow, 400ml/min; Pressure=100mmHg iii. Hepatic Vein—(outflow), 1600ml/min; Pressure = 4mmHg b. Blood flow into liver: superior mesenteric vein, inferior mesenteric vein, splenic vein, & gastric vein join to form portal vein c. Pathway i. Hepatic arterioles & portal venules  merge  sinusoids  central vein  hepatic vein d. Space of Disse—space between hepatocytes and endothelium of fenestrated capillaries e. Kupher Cells—phagocytic cells lining the vessels & protecting liver II. Biotransformation a. Definition—process by which the liver removes substances from the blood; modification of substances in bloodstream so that they can be excreted by body b. Lipophilic molecules: usually bound strongly to plasma proteins; liver makes them hydrophilic by adding a glucuronic acid group to the lipophilic molecule; allows for filtration & excretion by kidney c. Net movement from blood to bile: 1) delivery, 2) net uptake from space of Disse, 3) storage, 4) biotransformation, 5) secretion across canalicular membrane into bile duct, 6) biliary flow III. Bilirubin Metabolism a. Bilirubin—yellow pigment derived from breakdown of heme b. Process i. Old RBC’s taken up by spleen & destroyed ii. Hemoglobin is released => heme production => converted to unconjugated bilirubin iii. Bilirubin binds albumin & circulates in blood as a complex iv. Complex taken up by liver & transferred to RER v. Conjugated bilirubin is formed by adding 3 glucuronic acid molecules vi. Secretion via bile canaliculi (RATE LIMITING STEP—requires the most energy) c. Hepatitis—causes increase in circulating conjugated bilirubin sinc
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