Anatomy and Neuroscience - Research Publications

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    Structure and innervation of the extrahepatic biliary system in the Australian possum, Trichosurus vulpecula.
    Padbury, RT ; Baker, RA ; Messenger, JP ; Toouli, J ; Furness, JB (Hindawi Limited, 1993)
    The morphology, microanatomy and innervation of the biliary tree of the Australian possum, Trichosurus vulpecula, was examined. The gross morphology of the gallbladder, hepatic and cystic ducts, and the course of the common bile duct, conforms to those of other species. The sphincter of Oddi has an extraduodenal segment that extends 15mm from the duodenal wall; within this segment the pancreatic and common bile ducts are ensheathed together by sphincter muscle. Their lumens unite to form a common channel within the terminal intraduodenal segment. Nerve cell bodies of the gallbladder were found in an inter-connecting network of ganglia that were located in the serosa, muscularis and mucosa. Nerve fibres innervated the muscle, arterioles and the mucosa. Few ganglia were found along the supra sphincteric portion of the common bile duct. Nerve trunks followed the duct and a dense nerve fibre plexus was found in the mucosa. In the sphincter most ganglia were located in two plexuses, the first between the layers of the external sphincter muscle, which was continuous with the external muscle of the duodenum, and the second was associated with the internal sphincter muscle. Nerve fibres were numerous in the sphincter muscle, and were also found in the subepithelial and periglandular plexuses of both the pancreatic and common bile ducts.