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Cell Mol Immunol. 2007 Aug;4(4):241-52.

The roles of innate immune cells in liver injury and regeneration.

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Institute of Immunology, Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Materials at Microscale and School of Life Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230027, China.


For predominant abundance with liver-specific Kupffer cells, natural killer (NK) cells, and natural killer T (NKT) cells and their rapid responses to several stimuli, the liver is considered as an organ with innate immune features. In contrast to their roles in the defense of many infectious agents like hepatitis viruses and parasites, hepatic innate immune cells are also involved in the immunopathogenesis of human clinical liver diseases and several murine hepatitis models such as concanavalin A (Con A), lipopolysaccharide (LPS), or polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (Poly I:C)-induced liver injury. In this review, the destructive roles of NK cells, NKT cells and Kupffer cells in the processes of immune-mediated liver injury and regeneration will be discussed, and some putative mechanisms involving the impairment of liver regeneration caused by activated hepatic innate immune cells are also proposed.

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