Gall Bladder - Anatomy & Physiology

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The gall bladder stores bile produced in the liver. Bile is important in the digestion of lipids.

The gall bladder forms as an outgrowth of the bile duct, as a secondary hollow at the posterior edge of the original hepatic rudiment. The cystic duct joins the common bile duct which enters the duodenum at the major duodenal papillae (with the pancreatic duct) on the dorsal surface of the duodenum.


Location of the Canine Gallbladder - Copyright RVC 2008

The gall bladder lies between the right medial and quadrate lobes of the liver. It is partly attached and partly free.


The gall bladder stores bile and concentrates bile by absorption through the folded mucosal wall.


The gall bladder is innervated by parasympathetic nerves.

Species Differences

Equine Equine species have no gallbladder.


There is no gallbladder in rats.


The gall bladder lies opposite the 8th intercostal space. It has the thinnest layers of tunica muscularis.


The bovine gall bladder has the thickest layers of the tunica muscularis. Sheep have a less projecting gall bladder than cows. The gallbladder lies against the 10th or 11th rib.


Pigeons and parrots lack a gallbladder.


Histology of the Guinea-pig Gallbladder - Copyright RVC 2008

The gall bladder has a highly folded mucosa. It has a reduced submucosa and no lamina muscularis. The gall bladder has a simple columnar epithelium and no glands present.


Click here for pathology of the Gall Bladder

Gall Bladder - Anatomy & Physiology Learning Resources
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Histology of the gall bladder - see part 2

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