Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab

Kupffer Cells

  • Peter Thomas
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_3251-2



Kupffer cells are macrophages that are fixed within the sinusoids of the liver. They are the body’s most abundant source of fixed macrophages.


Kupffer cells were first described in 1876 and are named for the German pathologist Karl Wilhelm von Kupffer who called them the star cells (sternzellen) of the liver. Kupffer cells are tissue macrophages that are located in the hepatic sinusoidal blood flow attached to the endothelial cell lining. They represent 10 % of all liver cells and are the body’s largest population (approximately 80 %) of fixed macrophages. In the fetus they begin as fetal macrophages in the yolk sac and are transported through the circulation to the liver where they differentiate into Kupffer cells and remain fixed in the organ. They are the first macrophage population to contact bacteria, bacterial debris, and endotoxins arising in the gastrointestinal tract. Kupffer cells are both highly endocytic and...


Kupffer Cell Primary Liver Cancer Human Colorectal Cancer Cell Endothelial Cell Layer Tumor Cell Implantation 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departments of Surgery and Biomedical SciencesCreighton UniversityOmahaUSA