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Cell biology and pathology of liver sinusoidal endothelial cells

Authors
  • Enomoto, Katsuhiko1
  • Nishikawa, Yuji1
  • Omori, Yasufumi1
  • Tokairin, Takuo1
  • Yoshida, Masayuki1
  • Ohi, Naoto1
  • Nishimura, Takuya1
  • Yamamoto, Youhei1
  • Li, Qinchang1
  • 1 Akita University School of Medicine, Department of Pathology and Immunology, Division of Molecular Pathology and Tumor Pathology, Hondo 1-1-1, Akita, 010-8543, Japan , Akita
Type
Published Article
Journal
Medical Electron Microscopy
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2004
Volume
37
Issue
4
Pages
208–215
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s00795-004-0261-4
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

Growing evidence revealed that liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (SEC) play several important roles in physiology and pathology of the liver. It has been well understood that their structural characteristics, such as the membrane sieve and lack of basement membrane, facilitate direct contact of soluble and insoluble serum substances with hepatic parenchymal cells, resulting in enhancement of hepatic metabolic activity. In addition, SEC is now regarded as a member of the scavenger endothelial cells, which have potential to eliminate a variety of macromolecules from the blood circulation by receptor-mediated endocytosis. It is reported that molecules preferentially eliminated by SEC are denatured or modified proteins such as advanced glycation end products, extracellular matrix components including hyaluronic acid, and some lipoproteins. The nature of the scavenger receptors corresponding to these molecules remains to be clarified. Recently, it was noted that SEC has an antigen-presenting function similar to dendritic cells. Taken together, it is suggested that SEC, cooperating with Kupffer cells and hepatic dendritic cells, may partake of immunoregulatory functions in the liver. SEC also plays a pivotal role in the pathological process of ischemia-reperfusion injury following liver surgery and liver transplantation. Thus, it is of importance to elucidate the mechanisms of apoptosis and proliferation of SEC. Recent results on the regulation of growth and apoptotic signaling of SEC are discussed.

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