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Anatomy Atlases: Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: Section 1 - Cells Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: Section 10 - Digestive System

Plate 10.219 Liver: Phagocytic Kupffer Cells

Ronald A. Bergman, Ph.D., Adel K. Afifi, M.D., Paul M. Heidger, Jr., Ph.D.
Peer Review Status: Externally Peer Reviewed

Phagocytic Kupffer cells

Plate 10.219 Liver: Phagocytic Kupffer Cells

Rabbit, 10% formalin, H. & E., 612 x.

Hepatic cells: Arranged in cords. Note the binucleate hepatic cells.

Sinusoids: Vascular channels between hepatic cords. Blood flows in them toward the central vein.

Central vein: In the center of the lobule. Receives blood from the sinusoids.

Kupffer cells: Reticuloendothelial cells in the walls of the sinusoids of the liver were described by Kupffer, a German anatomist, in 1876. His observations led to a better understanding of the so-called reticuloendothelial (macrophage) system. The Kupffer cells belong to the group of mixed macrophages. They act to clear the blood of foreign particles, aging and damaged red blood cells, and other cellular debris. They are also said to play a role in fat metabolism, conservation of iron, and in the formation of bile pigment. These cells are prominent because they have ingested colloidal gold.

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