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Am J Pathol. 1993 Jul;143(1):105-20.

Defect of Fc receptors and phenotypical changes in sinusoidal endothelial cells in human liver cirrhosis.

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Department of Pathology, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, Japan.


To analyze the pathological changes occurring in Fc receptors (FcRs) in sinusoidal endothelial cells (SECs) in chronic liver diseases, we first characterized immunohistochemically the SEC FcRs by using monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) to FcRs and then investigated the distribution of the SEC FcRs by using peroxidase-antiperoxidase IgG complexes as a ligand on frozen sections. MAb 2E1 to FcRII reacted with SECs in a similar manner to peroxidase-antiperoxidase IgG and blocked the peroxidase-antiperoxidase IgG binding to SECs, whereas MAbs 3G8 and Leu-11b to FcRIII did not. FcRs in normal liver were found along the sinusoidal walls, except for those in the outer periportal zones, but FcRs in chronic active hepatitis and cirrhosis were intermittently or focally absent. The lengths of the FcR-positive portion of sinusoids in unit areas were respectively about 54% and 76% of the normal values in active and inactive cirrhosis. Where FcRs were absent, the MAbs CD36, CD31, and EN4 revealed the presence of sinusoids and, in active cirrhosis, frequently the thickening of liver cell plates. The FcR-negative SECs in the outer periportal zones of normal livers were different from the SECs of other sites in the presence of PAL-E antigen and a rich amount of EN4 antigen, though these sinusoids possessed Kupffer cells and no perisinusoidal deposition of laminin. The FcR-negative SECs in liver diseases occasionally presented the character of ordinary blood vessels, viz., PAL-E antigen, CD34 antigen, and a deficiency of Kupffer cells, regardless of perisinusoidal laminin deposition. However, they preserved the character of normally FcR-possessing SECs, viz., CD36 antigen, and a small amount of EN4 and CD31 antigens. These findings indicate that the outer-periportal SECs in normal livers are phenotypically different from other SECs and that the SECs in diseased livers frequently undergo phenotypical changes, including loss of FcRs, regardless of perisinusoidal laminin deposition, i.e., capillarization of the sinusoids. These phenotypical changes in SECs may reduce the capacity of FcR-mediated IgG-IC metabolism in diseased livers.

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