Teresa Patitucci, Graduate Student, Ebert Laboratory Department of Cell Biology, Neural Biology and Anatomy Medical College of Wisconsin
The liver is a vital organ that performs over 500 different functions. It detoxifies our blood, stores energy, produces and metabolizes hormones, makes proteins necessary for digestion and blood coagulation, and regulates a variety of biochemical reactions, including the synthesis and breakdown of necessary molecules. To perform all of these functions, the liver needs an intimate connection to the vasculature. This is an image of a mouse liver in which all the cells have been removed, leaving only the blood vessels. This intricate network of vessels extends through the liver like the branches of a tree.