- 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.