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Cell Tissue Res. 1999 Oct;298(1):105-12.

Modulation of cell surface expression of liver carbohydrate receptors during in vivo induction of apoptosis with lead nitrate.

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Department of Biology, University of Lecce, Italy.


Cell surface expression of carbohydrate receptors (i.e. mannose and galactose receptors) and phagocytosis of apoptotic cells by sinusoidal liver cells was studied. Binding sites and phagocytic activity were quantified at different time intervals (1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 20, 30, 40 and 60 days) after the in vivo administration to rats of a potent liver mitogen, lead nitrate, that also induces apoptosis. The number and distribution of binding sites was receptor and cell-type dependent during the days following the metal injection. The use of competing saccharides in inhibition uptake experiments suggests that sinusoidal liver cells actively phagocytose apoptotic hepatocytes and circulating apoptotic cells by using both receptors. In particular, Kupffer cells at 5 and 15 days after the lead nitrate injection are very active in internalizing apoptotic cells (two- to threefold control). However, phagosomes containing apoptotic hepatocytes are often seen inside the cytoplasm of parenchymal and endothelial cells.

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