Kupffer cells express a unique combination of phenotypic and functional characteristics compared with splenic and peritoneal macrophages
The immunostimulatory role of Kupffer cells in various inflammatory liver diseases is still not fully understood. In this study, phenotypic and functional aspects of Kupffer cells from healthy C57BL/6 mice were analyzed and compared with those of splenic and peritoneal macrophages to generate a blueprint of the cells under steady-state conditions. In the mouse liver, only one population of Kupffer cells was identified as F4/ 80highCD11blow cells. We observed that freshy isolated Kupffer cells are endocytic and show a relatively high basal ROS content. Interestingly, despite expression of TLR mRNA on Kupffer cells, ligation of TLR4, TLR7/8, and TLR9 resulted in a weak induction of IL-10, low or undetectable levels of IL-12p40 and TNF, and up-regulation of CD40 on the surface. Kupffer cells and splenic macrophages show functional similarities, in comparison with peritoneal macrophages, as reflected by comparable levels of TLR4, TLR7/8, and TLR9 mRNA and low or undetectable levels of TNF and IL-12p40 produced upon TLR ligation. The unique, functional characteristics of Kupffer cells, demonstrated in this study, suggest that Kupffer cells under steady-state conditions are specialized as phagocytes to clear and degrade particulates and only play a limited immunoregulatory role via the release of soluble mediators.
|Keywords||Endocytosis, IL-10, Immunoregulation, Liver|
|Persistent URL||dx.doi.org/10.1189/jlb.1111566, hdl.handle.net/1765/74613|
|Journal||Journal of Leukocyte Biology|
Movita, D, Kreefft, K, Biesta, P.J, van Oudenaren, A, Leenen, P.J.M, Janssen, H.L.A, & Boonstra, P.A. (2012). Kupffer cells express a unique combination of phenotypic and functional characteristics compared with splenic and peritoneal macrophages. Journal of Leukocyte Biology, 92(4), 723–733. doi:10.1189/jlb.1111566