Liver architecture, cell function, and disease

Semin Immunopathol. 2009 Sep;31(3):399-409. doi: 10.1007/s00281-009-0155-6. Epub 2009 May 26.


The liver is an organ consisting of the largest reticulo-endothelial cell network in the body and playing an important role in host defense against invading microorganisms. The organ is comprised of parenchymal cells and many different types of non-parenchymal cells, all of which play a significant role. Even biliary epithelial cells are not only the target in autoimmune liver diseases but also have central role in orchestrating several immune cells involved in both innate and acquired immunity. Tissue damage caused by various agents results in inflammation, necrosis, fibrosis, and, eventually, distortion of normal hepatic architecture, cirrhosis, and functional deterioration.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biliary Tract / immunology*
  • Biliary Tract / metabolism
  • Chemokines / immunology
  • Chemokines / metabolism
  • Hepatocytes / immunology*
  • Hepatocytes / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Kupffer Cells / immunology*
  • Kupffer Cells / metabolism
  • Liver / cytology*
  • Liver / immunology
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver Circulation / physiology
  • Liver Cirrhosis / immunology*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / metabolism
  • Liver Diseases / immunology*
  • Liver Diseases / metabolism


  • Chemokines