The Galactose-Particle Receptor on Liver Macrophages: Biological Function and Implications for Clearance of Particulate Material

  • Victoria Kolb-Bachofen
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 155)


Early experiments with isolated rat liver cells and neuraminidase-treated erythrocytes as galactose-exposing ligands showed that not only hepatocytes (see Ashwell et al, this book) exhibit a receptor activity that recognizes terminal galactosyl groups but that the resident liver macrophage — the Kupffer cell — expresses a similar recognition system (Kolb et al, 1978, Kolb and Kolb-Bachofen, 1978). The asialoglycoprotein receptor on hepatocytes mediates the rapid clearance from circulation and liver accumulation of molecules exhibiting galactosyl groups, i.e., asialoglyco-proteins. It is long known that not only asialoglycoproteins are retained in the liver but also asialo-erythrocytes (Gattegno et al, 1974) and asialo-lymphocytes (Woodruff and Woodruff 1976). Ligands as large as blood cells are too large to gain access to the galactose-specific receptors on hepatocytes, they cannot pass the endothelial fenestrae easily (see Wisse et al. this book). Electron microscopy revealed that, in vivo, both asialo-lymphocytes (Kolb-Bachofen and Kolb, 1979 and asialo-erythrocytes (Kolb-Bachofen et al, 1984) are found adhering almost exclusively to the liver macrophases shortly after their injection.


Kupffer Cell Colloidal Gold Particle Asialoglycoprotein Receptor Plasma Fibronectin Sinusoidal Cell 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Victoria Kolb-Bachofen
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Biophysik und ElektronenmikroskopieUniversität DüsseldorfGermany

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