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FEBS Lett. 1992 Jan 20;296(2):174-8.

The clearance of apoptotic cells in the liver is mediated by the asialoglycoprotein receptor.

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Department of Biology, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy.


Apoptosing cells are actively phagocytosed in parenchymal tissues, thus preventing the inflammatory reaction which could derive from their slow uncontrolled degradation. The molecular mechanisms by which an apoptotic cell is recognized and taken up are largely unknown. We propose that the recognition of apoptotic hepatocytes is mediated by the sugar recognition systems of the liver, particularly the asialoglycoprotein receptor (ASGP-R). The results presented here demonstrated the participation of ASGP-R in the removal of apoptotic parenchymal cells, and indicate a new perspective for the understanding of its physiological role.

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