Physiology pp 305-330 | Cite as

Interaction of the Reticuloendothelial System with Blood Lipid and Lipoprotein Metabolism

  • T. J. C. van Berkel
  • P. H. E. Groot
  • A. van Tol


The RES, as defined by Aschoff (1924), comprises a wide variety of cell types with different origins and functions (van Furth et al., 1972). For example, the clearance of substances from the bloodstream is mainly exerted by macrophages of the liver (Kupffer cells) and macrophages of the spleen (Stiffel et al., 1970) but not, or to a low extent, by endothelial or reticular cells. In this review the attention will be focused on lipid and lipoprotein metabolism by Kupffer cells and macrophages of the spleen. In vivo the fate of an intravenously injected radioactive compound can be followed by autoradiography as well as by subsequent isolation of the cells. For in vitro studies, however, the isolation of the aforementioned cell types in an unmodified form is absolutely necessary. As this is still rather difficult at present, such in vitro studies have only been done with isolated (peritoneal) macrophages. These studies gave information on the mechanism of interaction, and metabolic consequences of the interaction of lipids and lipoproteins with macrophages and are also relevant for the tissue macrophages from liver and spleen (Goldstein et al., 1979). For this reason we first deal with information concerning the interaction of lipids with these free macrophages (Section 2) while Section 3 deals with the evidence obtained with tissue macrophages.


Parenchymal Cell Kupffer Cell Cholesteryl Ester Blood Lipid Lipid Emulsion 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. J. C. van Berkel
    • 1
  • P. H. E. Groot
    • 1
  • A. van Tol
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry I, Medical FacultyErasmus University RotterdamDR RotterdamThe Netherlands

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