Cells of Liver

From WikiLectures

There are 4 basic cell types that reside in the liver:

  1. the hepatocyte
  2. the stellate fat storing cell
  3. the Kupffer cell
  4. the liver endothelial cell.

These so-called resident cells control many of the key functions in the liver, as well as its response to injury.


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hepatocyte in HE

Hepatocytes make up about 80% of the cells in the liver.

  • are large polyhedral epithelial cells, with large round centrally located nuclei (2 or more)
  • grouped in interconnected plates that are arranged into thousand of small polyhedral lobules
  • store glucose in the form of glycogen , also vitamin B12, folic acid and iron
  • participate in the turnover and transport of lipids.
  • synthesize some of the plasma proteins (albumin, α and β globulins, prothrombin, fibrinogen
  • metabolize/detoxify fat
  • participate in the turnover of steroid hormones.
  • regulates cholesterol level
  • secrete bile (up to 1 liter per day)

ITO Cells

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Last update: Monday, 08 Dec 2014 at 5.23 pm.

Hepatic stellate fat storing cells ( ITO cells )

ITO Cells
  • reside in close proximity to the hepatocyte (in the perisinusoidal space, not in lumen!)
  • store approximately 80% of the body's supply of vitamin A and a variety of other lipids (under normal conditions)
  • under conditions of liver injury, activated stellate cells are highly responsive to pro-fibrogenic factors such as transforming growth factor- ß (TGF-ß).
  • proliferate in response to factors such as platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)

Kupffer Cells

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  • specialized stellate macrophages
  • adhere to the sinusoidal endothelium ( in the lumen of the sinusoid), mainly near portal areas (=portal triads)
  • clear the blood of ingested bacterial pathogens that may enter portal blood from the gut
  • remove aged erythrocytes and free heme for re-use
  • act as antigen-presenting cells in adaptive immunity
  • secret cytokines and chemokines that recruit and expand the population of other proinflammatory cells in the liver.

Sinusoidal Endothelial Cells

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Endothelial Cells of Liver
  • form the wall of the blood vessels (sinusoids) that carry blood throughout the liver
  • form a single layer with spaces between each cell known as fenestra, that allow an efficient flow of essential materials to pass from the blood to
  • hepatocytes and vice versa
  • are rich in lysosomal enzymes needed for degrading endocytosed material