Intracellular Transport of Endocytosed Glycoproteins in Rat Hepatocytes
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The mammalian liver consists of four main cell types: the parenchymal cells, the macrophages (Kupffer cells), the endothelial cells, and the stellate cells (1). Apart from the stellate cells all of these cell types are able to remove macromolecules from the blood by endocytosis. This function contributes to the homeostatic system which keeps the concentration of plasma proteins and lipids relatively constant. The various ligands endocytosed by the liver are to some extent divided between the cells. For instance, only hepatocytes take up chylomicron remnants or asialoglycoproteins (2). Endothelial cells are particularly active in the uptake of proteins with increased negative charge such as acetylated LDL (3) or formaldehydetreated albumin (4), while Kupffer cells are specialized phagocytic cells. The main function of the stellate cells seems to be storage of retinol received from the hepatocytes (5,6).
KeywordsKupffer Cell Stellate Cell Sucrose Gradient Intracellular Transport Endocytic Vesicle
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