Kupffer Cells

  • Chandrashekhar R. Gandhi
Part of the Molecular Pathology Library book series (MPLB, volume 5)


Kupffer cells, the resident macrophages in the liver, constitute the largest population of stationary macrophages in any organ. They constitute about 30–35% of the nonparenchymal cell volume, and reside in the hepatic sinusoids adhering to the specialized endothelial cells. Kupffer cells are formed by differentiation of mature monocytes derived from bone marrow stem cells. Apart from phagocytosis and destruction of bacteria, viruses, and products derived thereof, Kupffer cells clear a variety of noxious substances dumped in the portal blood by visceral organs. They produce a variety of chemotactic, inflammatory, growth-modulatory, and vasoactive molecules including TNF-α, IL-6, IFN-α and IFN-β, IL-1β, platelet-activating factor, eicosanoids, TGF-α, TGF-β, carbon monoxide, and nitric oxide. Upon reacting with bacterial lipopolysaccharides or following phagocytosis, Kupffer cells also produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) that cause injury to the parenchymal cells. Kupffer cells express antigen-presenting (MHC-I and MHC-II) and costimulatory (CD80, CD86) molecules, as well as immunosuppressive cytokines IL-10 and TGFβ. With these properties, Kupffer cells play important roles in liver regeneration, reperfusion injury, alcoholic liver disease, and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, as well as innate and adaptive immunological functions of the liver.


Hepatocyte Growth Factor Kupffer Cell Liver Regeneration Alcoholic Liver Disease Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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