The evolving story of macrophages in acute liver failure.

State Key Laboratory for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, the First Affiliated Hospital, Medical College, Zhejiang University, Zhejiang, PR China.
Immunology letters (Impact Factor: 2.91). 07/2012; 147(1-2):1-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.imlet.2012.07.002
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Acute liver failure (ALF) remains a worldwide problem. The innate immune system acts as an important regulator of ALF. Kupffer cells (KCs), the resident macrophages in liver, play a key role in liver innate immune response. Recent researches have shown that macrophages display a remarkable plasticity and can differentiate into functionally diverse subsets. However, the dynamic polarized phenotypes and functional status of macrophages at different stage of ALF are not clear. In this paper, we present a review of evidence that KCs play a significant role in the pathogenesis of ALF, including the phenotype and functions of macrophages, signaling pathways involved in macrophage functional status and cell-crosstalks of KCs with other immune cells. More information on macrophages will promote a better understanding of the cellular molecular mechanisms of ALF and provide new insights for the development of therapeutic targets for ALF.

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