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Methods Cell Biol. 2011;101:205-23. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-387036-0.00010-4.

Endoderm specification, liver development, and regeneration.

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Department of Pathology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


The endoderm is the innermost germ layer that gives rise to the lining of the gut, the gills, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, and derivatives of the pharyngeal pouch. These organs form the gastrointestinal tract and are involved with the absorption, delivery, and metabolism of nutrients. The liver has a central role in regulating these processes because it controls lipid metabolism, protein synthesis, and breakdown of endogenous and xenobiotic products. Liver dysfunction frequently leads to significant morbidity and mortality; however, in most settings of organ injury, the liver exhibits remarkable regenerative capacity.

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