Differential Sensitivity of Kupffer Cells and Hepatic Monocyte-Derived Macrophages to Bacterial Lipopolysaccharide

Clin Exp Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2019 Jan-May;1(1):106. doi: 10.31531/edwiser.jcegh.1000106. Epub 2019 Sep 3.


The liver contains two distinct populations of macrophages, monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs), which primarily reside proximal to the Glisson's capsule and Kupffer cells, which reside within the sinusoids. Kupffer cells infiltrate the liver during embryogenesis and are replenished from local proliferation of mature Kupffer cells. By contrast MDMs arise from hematopoietic stem cells in the bone marrow and are replenishedfrom circulating monocytes. Studies have revealed that these two hepatic macrophage populations possess distinct transcriptomic profiles, suggesting that they may be functionally distinct. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that MDMs and Kupffer cells are differentially sensitive to bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS). MDMs and Kupffer cells were purified to greater than 90% from the livers of mice by using magnetic beads labeled with Cx3cr1 antibody for MDMs and F4/80 antibody for Kupffer cells. Basal levels of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) mRNA were higher in MDMs when compared to Kupffer cells. After treatment with LPS, mRNA levels of TNF-α, Cxcll, and Cxcl2 were increased to a greater extent in MDMs when compared to Kupffer cells. To confirm these findings, Kupffer cells and MDMs were isolated from mice in which bone marrow transplantation was used to selectively tag cells arising from hematopoietic stem cells in adult mice. Similar to above, treatment of MDMs with LPS increased TNF-α, Cxcll, and Cxcl2 to a greater extent when compared to Kupffer cells. Collectively, these results indicate that MDMs exhibit a greater pro-inflammatory phenotype in the liver when exposed to LPS.

Keywords: Antibody; Kupffer cell; Lipopolysaccharide; Macrophage.