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New observations on the fine structure of the liver in goldfish (Carassius auratus)


A re-examination of goldfish liver was made through the use of SEM of fractured samples and TEM of ultrathin-sections and freeze-etch replicas. Several new hepatic fine structures described in the present study are morphologically similar to those reported previously in many higher vertebrates including mammals. Hepatic sinusoids of goldfish contain fenestrations which are arranged into sieve plates. Although the hepatic plates are made up of two layers of hepatocytes, the parenchymal cells of goldfish liver are morphologically similar to mammalian hepatocytes, particularly with respect to the sinusoidal surfaces which are studded with numerous microvilli. The intercellular surfaces of hepatocytes have both nexus and desmosomal junctions, similar to those found in various epithelial cells of higher vertebrates, as cell attachments and communication foci. Tight junctions are found mainly between the openings of the intracellular bile canaliculi and the intralobular bile ductules which are situated in the center of the bicellular hepatic plate.

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Correspondence to Dr. Waykin Nopanitaya.

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Supported in part by Grants # GM92 and ES07017

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Nopanitaya, W., Carson, J.L., Grisham, J.W. et al. New observations on the fine structure of the liver in goldfish (Carassius auratus). Cell Tissue Res. 196, 249–261 (1979).

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Key words

  • Liver
  • Goldfish
  • Ultrastructure