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Contribution of Macrophage Efferocytosis to Liver Homeostasis and Disease

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Review

Contribution of Macrophage Efferocytosis to Liver Homeostasis and Disease

Andrea Kristina Horst et al. Front Immunol.

Abstract

The clearance of apoptotic cells is pivotal for both maintaining tissue homeostasis and returning to homeostasis after tissue injury as part of the regenerative resolution response. The liver is known for its capacity to remove aged and damaged cells from the circulation and can serve as a graveyard for effector T cells. In particular Kupffer cells are active phagocytic cells, but during hepatic inflammatory responses incoming neutrophils and monocytes may contribute to pro-inflammatory damage. To stimulate resolution of such inflammation, myeloid cell function can change, via sensing of environmental changes in the inflammatory milieu. Also, the removal of apoptotic cells via efferocytosis and the signaling pathways that are activated in macrophages/phagocytes upon their engulfment of apoptotic cells are important for a return to tissue homeostasis. Here, we will discuss, how efferocytosis mechanisms in hepatic macrophages/phagocytes may regulate tissue homeostasis and be involved in tissue regeneration in liver disease.

Keywords: apoptosis; cytokines; efferocytosis; inflammation; liver injury; macrophage; phagocytosis; resolution.

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