Phagocytosis, an unrecognized property of murine endothelial liver cells

Authors

  • Anne-Marie Steffan,

    1. Laboratoire de Virologie and INSERM U 74, Faculté de Médecine de Strasbourg, 67000 Strasbourg, France
    2. Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, West Virginia University Medical Center, Morgantown, West Virginia 26506
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  • Jean-Louis Gendrault,

    1. Laboratoire de Virologie and INSERM U 74, Faculté de Médecine de Strasbourg, 67000 Strasbourg, France
    2. Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, West Virginia University Medical Center, Morgantown, West Virginia 26506
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  • Robert S. McCuskey,

    1. Laboratoire de Virologie and INSERM U 74, Faculté de Médecine de Strasbourg, 67000 Strasbourg, France
    2. Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, West Virginia University Medical Center, Morgantown, West Virginia 26506
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  • Patricia A. McCuskey,

    1. Laboratoire de Virologie and INSERM U 74, Faculté de Médecine de Strasbourg, 67000 Strasbourg, France
    2. Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, West Virginia University Medical Center, Morgantown, West Virginia 26506
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  • Dr. André Kirn

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratoire de Virologie and INSERM U 74, Faculté de Médecine de Strasbourg, 67000 Strasbourg, France
    2. Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, West Virginia University Medical Center, Morgantown, West Virginia 26506
    • Laboratoire de Virologie, 3 Rue Koeberlé, 67000 Strasbourg, France
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  • This work is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Nicholas Di Luzio.

Abstract

Impairment of the phagocytic capacities of Kupffer cells, as is found in Frog Virus 3 hepatitis of mice, allows the endothelial liver cells to take up intravenously inoculated latex particles of 1.0 μm diameter. In vitro experiments with cultivated endothelial cells isolated by collagenase perfusion of the liver and purified by centrifugal elutriation demonstrate that uptake occurs via a typical mechanism of phagocytosis involving pseudopodia. Ingestion of latex is inhibited by incubation of the cells at 4°C and by treatment with cytochalasin B, whereas colchicine has no effect. These results demonstrate that: (i) the Kupffer cells are not the only cells of the hepatic sinusoid capable of phagocytosis; and (ii) under conditions where the phagocytosis in Kupffer cells is impaired, the endothelial cells may participate in the clearance of large particles from the blood.

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