Globally, over 500 million people are chronically infected with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV). These chronic infections cause liver inflammation, and may result in fibrosis/cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma. Albeit that HBV and HCV differ in various aspects, clearance, persistence, and immunopathology of either infection depends on the interplay between the innate and adaptive responses in the liver. Kupffer cells, the liver-resident macrophages, are abundantly present in the sinusoids of the liver. These cells have been shown to be crucial players to maintain homeostasis, but also contribute to pathology. However, it is important to note that especially during pathology, Kupffer cells are difficult to distinguish from infiltrating monocytes/macrophages and other myeloid cells. In this review we discuss our current understanding of Kupffer cells, and assess their role in the regulation of anti-viral immunity and disease pathogenesis during HBV and HCV infection.

Anti-viral immunity, HBV, HCV, Kupffer cells, Liver damage, Liver inflammation, Macrophages, Viral hepatitis,
Journal of Hepatology
Department of Gastroenterology & Hepatology

Boltjes, A, Movita, D, Boonstra, P.A, & Woltman, A.M. (2014). The role of Kupffer cells in hepatitis B and hepatitis C virus infections. Journal of Hepatology. doi:10.1016/j.jhep.2014.04.026