Histology Guide

virtual microscopy laboratory

Chapter 15 - Liver and Gallbladder

The liver is an accessory digestive gland that performs over 500 distinct functions that impact all body systems.


The liver is the largest internal organ of the body. The principal cell of the liver is the hepatocyte. These epithelial cells are arranged in branching plates separated by capillary sinusoids through which blood flows. The liver filters blood that comes from the digestion tract before passing it to the rest of the body.

Kupffer cells are macrophages that reside in capillary sinusoids. They are the largest population of macrophages in the body.


The main functions of the gallbladder is storage, concentration, and release of bile. When released into the small intestine, bile helps break down and the absorption of fats, cholesterol, and some vitamins.