Functional and biochemical properties of rat Kupffer cells and peritoneal macrophages

D. L. Laskin, A. A. Sirak, A. M. Pilaro, J. D. Laskin

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30 Scopus citations


Functional and biochemical techniques were used to further characterize heterogeneity between rat Kupffer cells and peritoneal macrophages. Both macrophage cell types were found to phagocytize antibody coated sheep red blood cells in a time-dependent manner. However, Kupffer cells were two to three times more phagocytic than were peritoneal macrophages. In contrast, the peritoneal cells released significantly more superoxide anion in response to the complement cleavage product, C5a and the phorbol ester tumor promoter, 12-0-tetradecanoyl-phorbol-13-acetate, and produced more hydrogen peroxide than did the liver macrophages. Both cell types responded chemotactically to C5a. These results suggest that macrophages may develop specialized functions depending on the needs of their local environment. Using one and two dimensional SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, we also compared the production of newly synthesized proteins by Kupffer cells and peritoneal macrophages. In general, the macrophages were found to produce similar types and numbers of proteins with some exceptions. These included proteins that were unique to peritoneal macrophages and other proteins observed only in Kupffer cells. The production of these proteins in liver macrophages did not appear to correlate with levels of functional activation, but may be more related to the tissue origin of the cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-78
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Leukocyte Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1988

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Cell Biology

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