Role of primary intrahepatic T-cell activation in the 'liver tolerance effect'

Immunol Cell Biol. 2002 Feb;80(1):84-92. doi: 10.1046/j.0818-9641.2001.01048.x.


There is accumulating evidence suggesting that hepatic permeability to both naive and activated T lymphocytes may be unique among the solid organs. The possibility that the liver may act as a site of primary activation for CD8+ T lymphocytes is supported by experimental data and may contribute to some of the unique immunological properties of this organ, particularly its ability to induce antigen-specific tolerance. This review discusses the nature of the liver APC inducing primary T-cell activation within the liver: Kupffer cells, liver dendritic cells, liver sinusoidal endothelial cells and hepatocytes are favourably located to allow physical contact with circulating T lymphocytes. Here, we examine the capability of each cell type to act as APC for naive CD4+ or CD8+ T cells and to induce tolerance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance / immunology*
  • Liver / cytology
  • Liver / immunology*
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology*