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Cells. 2017 Dec 7;6(4). pii: E48. doi: 10.3390/cells6040048.

Differential Location and Distribution of Hepatic Immune Cells.

Author information

1
Center for Gastrointestinal Biology, Departamento de Morfologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais 31270-901, Brazil. licefl95@gmail.com.
2
Center for Gastrointestinal Biology, Departamento de Morfologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais 31270-901, Brazil. kassiana93@gmail.com.
3
Calvin, Phoebe and Joan Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Calgary. Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada. brunaraujodavid@gmail.com.
4
Center for Gastrointestinal Biology, Departamento de Morfologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais 31270-901, Brazil. raquelcgw@ufmg.br.
5
Center for Gastrointestinal Biology, Departamento de Morfologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais 31270-901, Brazil. menezesgb@ufmg.br.

Abstract

The liver is one of the main organs in the body, performing several metabolic and immunological functions that are indispensable to the organism. The liver is strategically positioned in the abdominal cavity between the intestine and the systemic circulation. Due to its location, the liver is continually exposed to nutritional insults, microbiota products from the intestinal tract, and to toxic substances. Hepatocytes are the major functional constituents of the hepatic lobes, and perform most of the liver's secretory and synthesizing functions, although another important cell population sustains the vitality of the organ: the hepatic immune cells. Liver immune cells play a fundamental role in host immune responses and exquisite mechanisms are necessary to govern the density and the location of the different hepatic leukocytes. Here we discuss the location of these pivotal cells within the different liver compartments, and how their frequency and tissular location can dictate the fate of liver immune responses.

KEYWORDS:

hepatic leukocytes; hepatocytes; immune response; liver

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