Goessling, W., Stainier, D.Y. (2016) Endoderm specification and liver development. Methods in cell biology. 134:463-83.
The endoderm is the innermost embryonic germ layer, and in zebrafish, it 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 carbohydrate and 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. In this chapter, we review the principal mechanisms of endoderm and liver formation and provide protocols to assess liver formation and liver regeneration.