Zixi Cheng


The liver is one of the most important regulatory organs, and its extensive influence upon homeostatic balance is well-documented. However, the role of autonomic innervation in the control and regulation of hepatic function is poorly understood relative to the other organs of the digestive system. Furthermore, the neuroanatomical layout of the liver remains an incomplete puzzle with various missing pieces. The scarcity of information concerning such a critical organ presents an interesting conundrum for the scientific and biomedical communities alike, especially given the prevalence of liver degeneracy and disease in the modern clinical setting. A more complete understanding of the precise anatomy of hepatic autonomic innervation, as well as the role it plays in both the normal function and diseased state of the organ, could aid in the development of novel and improved treatments for various debilitating and potentially lethal conditions. The purpose of this review is to compile the breadth of knowledge regarding hepatic autonomic innervation, to discuss the limitations of previous research, and to suggest future directions for a field that shows great potential for continued advancement.

About the Author

Kennan Negrete is a Fourth Year Biomedical Sciences major pursuing a future career as a physician. He has worked under the guidance of Dr. Zixi Cheng for two years, with a focus on using neuronal tracing techniques to map autonomic innervation of the liver. Kennan is a National Hispanic Scholar, Burnett Medical Scholar, and current Honors in the Major pursuant. When not in class or in the lab, he prefers to spend his time shadowing physicians, working as an SI Leader, and volunteering at Shepherd's Hope or Clean the World.



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