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Pathology. 2010 Apr;42(3):255-8. doi: 10.3109/00313021003636469.

The effect of feeding and fasting on fenestrations in the liver sinusoidal endothelial cell.

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  • 1Centre for Education and Research on Ageing and the ANZAC Research Institute, University of Sydney and Concord RG Hospital, Sydney, Australia.



Fenestrations are pores in the liver sinusoidal endothelial cell that facilitate the transfer of substrates between blood and hepatocytes. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of nutritional state on the morphology of fenestrations.


Scanning electron microscopy was used to investigate fenestrations in livers from fasted and fed rats.


Fasting for 48 hours in rats was associated with an increase in the diameter of fenestrations from 90.7 +/- 11.7 nm in the fed state to 99.0 +/- 12.11 nm (p < 0.005). There was a concomitant reduction in the frequency of fenestrations from 8.45 +/- 2.43 to 7.39 +/- 2.28 fenestrations per microm(2) (p =0.05).


Fasting was associated with increased diameter of fenestrations. The results provide evidence that fenestrations are dynamic structures that respond in vivo to physiological stimuli such as nutritional status.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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