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Author Takahashi, Sumio ♦ Hitomi, Jiro ♦ Satoh, Yoh-ichi ♦ Takahashi, Toru ♦ Asakura, Hitoshi ♦ Ushiki, Tatsuo
Source J-STAGE
Content type Text
Publisher International Society of Histology and Cytology
Language English
Abstract The hepatic portal vein has been known to make a spontaneous peristaltic movement in some mammals, including the mouse and rat. To investigate the fine structure of the portal vein in relation to its physiological characteristics, we observed the mouse portal vein by using various histological techniques including conventional light microscopy, videomicroscopy, transmission and scanning electron microscopy, and real-time confocal laser scanning microscopy. The mouse hepatic portal vein was provided with a spiral fold which was produced by the inner layer, i.e. the endothelium and smooth muscles of the wall protruding into the lumen. Longitudinal smooth muscle cells spanned the interval of the fold, like a spirally arranged palisade around the vessel wall. The longitudinal muscle fibers ended at the spiral fold, being partly connected with a network of irregularly shaped smooth muscle cells. This network, hitherto unknown, was recognized to be restricted to the fold in distribution and characterized by numerous gap junctions connecting the muscle cells. Real-time confocal laser scanning microscopy using a $Ca^{2+}$ sensitive fluorescent dye revealed that a transient and periodic increase in $Ca^{2+}$ concentration occurred in the longitudinal smooth muscle cells and was transmitted spirally from the intestinal to the hepatic side. These findings indicate that, during the peristaltic movement, the contraction of smooth muscle cells is transmitted along the longitudinal smooth muscles of the portal vein wall toward the liver, presumably controlled by the network of the irregularly-shaped smooth muscle cells in the fold of the portal vein. Light microscopic observation in some specimens indicated an occurrence of cardiac muscle cells outside the smooth muscle layer. Restricted to the site of the porta hepatis in distribution, their involvement in the peristaltic contraction of the portal vein seemed unlikely.
ISSN 09149465
Learning Resource Type Article
Publisher Date 2002-01-01
e-ISSN 13491717
Journal Archives of Histology and Cytology(aohc)
Volume Number 65
Issue Number 1
Page Count 12
Starting Page 71
Ending Page 82


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