Modulation of the expression of galactose-specific receptors on Kupffer cells after partial hepatectomy and zymosan stimulation


Department of Biology, University of Rome “Tor vergata”, Via E. Carnevale 00173 Rome, Italy


ABSTRACT— Partial hepatectomy (PH) and a single intravenous injection of zymosan were used to provoke expansion of the Kupffer cell population in rat liver. The number of Kupffer cells per unit of area of liver increased after both stimulations. During these growth phases the number of binding sites for galactose-exposing ligands was studied on Kupffer cell plasma membranes. Both partial hepatectomy and zymosan stimulation affected the binding of lactosylated bovine serum albumin conjugated to gold particles (LacBSA-Au5). The reduction observed depended on the time after the PH or zymosan injection studied. Low levels of binding sites were found at 24 h from PH and 5 days after zymosan stimulation and represented only 1/4 or 1/10 of the binding sites expressed on the cell surface of Kupffer cells from normal adult rats. In addition, in both experimental situations we observed that the clustered distribution of gold particles typical of adult Kupffer cell was changed.