Perisinusoidal space

The perisinusoidal space (or space of Disse) is a location in the liver between a hepatocyte and a sinusoid. It contains the blood plasma. Microvilli of hepatocytes extend into this space, allowing proteins and other plasma components from the sinusoids to be absorbed by the hepatocytes. Fenestration and discontinuity of the endothelium, as well as its basement membrane,[1] facilitates this transport.[2] This space may be obliterated in liver disease, leading to decreased uptake by hepatocytes of nutrients and wastes such as bilirubin.

Perisinusoidal space
Sinusoid of a rat liver with fenestrated endothelial cells. Fenestrae are approx 100 nm diameter, and the sinusoidal width 5 µm. Scanning electron micrograph by Robin Fraser, University of Otago.
Basic liver structure
Latinspatium perisinusoideum
Anatomical terms of microanatomy

The perisinusoidal space also contains hepatic stellate cells (also known as Ito cells), which store fat or fat soluble vitamins including vitamin A). A variety of insults that cause inflammation can result in the cells transforming into myofibroblasts, resulting in collagen production, fibrosis, and cirrhosis.

The Space of Disse was named after German anatomist Joseph Disse (1852–1912).[3]


  1. Mescher, Anthony L. "The Circulatory System." Junquiera's Basic Histology. 12th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010. Print. 197.
  2. Robbins, Stanley L.; Cotran, Ramzi S.; Kumar, Vinay; Collins, Tucker (1999). Robbins pathologic basis of disease. Philadelphia: Saunders. ISBN 0-7216-7335-X.
  3. Haubrich WS (2004). "Disse of the space of Disse". Gastroenterology. 127 (6): 1684. doi:10.1053/j.gastro.2004.10.021. PMID 15578505.
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