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Table of Contents
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 71  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 158-159

Why Should Anatomists Underline the Geometry of Some Special Structures?


Date of Submission19-Dec-2020
Date of Acceptance21-Dec-2021
Date of Web Publication30-Jun-2022

Correspondence Address:
Aysegul Firat

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jasi.jasi_269_20

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How to cite this article:
Firat A, Balaban HY. Why Should Anatomists Underline the Geometry of Some Special Structures?. J Anat Soc India 2022;71:158-9

How to cite this URL:
Firat A, Balaban HY. Why Should Anatomists Underline the Geometry of Some Special Structures?. J Anat Soc India [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Sep 25];71:158-9. Available from: https://www.jasi.org.in/text.asp?2022/71/2/158/349536

Dear Editor,

For most of the anatomists, gross anatomy and dissections are cornerstones of traditional medical education. But, we know that exponential growth in medical literature and technological developments have been changing our way of thinking and teaching methods. Gross anatomy education should integrate the traditional and innovative methods today. The development of digital sources such as animations, videos, and three-dimensional reconstructions helps us to deliver more anatomical information during lectures and courses.[1]

Then comes the question: does the morphology, shape, or geometry of a structure draw any attention to the functional anatomy? This is a good step of learning in medical education; combining the knowledge with the conceptualization by asking the reasons.

Anatomists should underline the geometry of some special structures: Hepatocytes and hepatic lobules are attractive structures concerning the revision of functional anatomy literature. The parenchyme of the liver plays a crucial role in bile production, protein synthesis, chemical processing of molecules of the body itself, and foreign substances. The hepatocytes form the critical cell layer between the sinusoids and the bile canaliculi. They have a unique polarity with the basal membrane facing the sinusoid endothelium, while one or more apical poles can contribute to several bile canaliculi.[2] Hepatocytes are polygonal in shape and their outer membrane has many facets: two or three facets are in contact with the space of Disse, while the remaining facets make contact with adjacent liver cells. Bile canaliculi run between adjacent hepatocytes. The establishment of hepatocyte polarity and geometry is essential to explain many functions, but this explanation is not enough to understand the relation between physics and functions of the liver. Four to six wedge-shaped hepatocytes arranged in cords are located around the bile canaliculi. Hepatocyte cords and sinusoids run along each other in a branching and interlocking fashion that increases the metabolic interchange between the blood and bile systems. The hepatic lobule is a hexagon with portal triads at each corner. In the hepatic lobular system, periportal areas are supplied by the branches of the hepatic artery and the portal vein to the periphery and the central vein to the center of the lobule which results in centripetal blood flow. The bile flows centrifugally toward the periphery. Another functional concept is the liver acinus: a diamond-shaped area supplied by the terminal branches of hepatic artery and portal vein. This small unit is important for describing functional and pathological changes of many clinical conditions. Its short axis runs along the borders of hepatic lobules, and its imaginary long axis is located between the two central veins. Hepatocytes are located in three elliptical zones around the short axis.[3],[4],[5]

The systems of lobulation and acinus formation complementing each other prompt the hypothesis that histology dealing with polarity and geometry can be linked to gross anatomy integrating functional modulation. This way of learning anatomy makes hepatocytes and the liver itself highly valuable subjects of medical, biological, and pharmaceutical researches. In vitro models of hepatocyte arrangements would be of great importance to understand the physiological functions of the liver and the pathological processes of liver diseases.

The aim of this letter is to encourage the young anatomists to learn microscopical anatomy with gross anatomy and functional anatomy with pathology to drive many researches with the clinicians. Liver is a perfect example to begin…

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  References Top

Aziz N, Mansor O. The role of anatomists and surgeons in clinical anatomy instruction inside and outside the operating room. Malays J Med Sci 2006;13:76-7.  Back to cited text no. 1
Gissen P, Arias IM. Structural and functional hepatocyte polarity and liver disease. J Hepatol 2015;63:1023-37.  Back to cited text no. 2
Sun P, Zhang G, Su X, Jin C, Yu B, Yu X, et al. Maintenance of primary hepatocyte functions ın vitro by ınhibiting mechanical tension-ınduced YAP activation. Cell Rep 2019;29:3212-22.e4.  Back to cited text no. 3
Erwin K, Hans-Dieter K. Hepatology: Textbook and Atlas. 3rd ed. Heidelberg: Springer Medizin Verlag; 2008. p. 26-8.  Back to cited text no. 4
William KO, Patrick CN. Netter's Essential Histology. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: Elsevier Sauders; 2013. p. 314-6.  Back to cited text no. 5


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