Endothelial Cells of the Hepatic Sinusoids: A Review

  • E. Wisse
  • F. Braet
  • D. Luo
  • D. Vermijlen
  • M. Eddouks
  • M. Konstandoulaki
  • C. Empsen
  • R. B. de Zanger


Hepatic sinusoidal endothelial cells differ from other endothelial cells. They possess open fenestrae that are grouped in sieve plates and lack a basal lamina. Fenestrae measure about 150nm, occur at a frequency of 9–13/mm2, and occupy 6%– 8% of the endothelial surface (porosity). These filter characteristics determine the exchange between the blood and the parenchymal cells, and are influencing the transport of lipoproteins including cholesterol and vitamin A. Forced sieving and endothelial massage are thought to enhance the passage of lipoproteins and to refresh the fluids in the space of Disse. Alcohol, nicotine, and other agents affect fenestrae in different ways and contribute either to fatty liver or hyperlipidemia. Furthermore, sinusoidal endothelial cells have: 1) a large capacity for pinocytosis via coated pits and macropinocytotic vesicles, 2) a variety of adhesion molecules, and receptors (scavenger, hyaluronan, collagen, Fc), and 3) a large capacity to digest material by numerous lysosomes. Endothelial cells secrete a limited amount of cytokines, but are vulnerable to products released by Kupffer cells, as in the case of endotoxemia or liver preservation. Capillarization of sinusoids includes the loss of fenestrae and the formation of a basal lamina and occurs in pathological conditions.


Endothelial Cell Hyaluronic Acid Parenchymal Cell Kupffer Cell Endothelial Lining 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Tokyo 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Wisse
    • 1
  • F. Braet
    • 1
  • D. Luo
    • 1
  • D. Vermijlen
    • 1
  • M. Eddouks
    • 1
  • M. Konstandoulaki
    • 1
  • C. Empsen
    • 1
  • R. B. de Zanger
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory for Cell Biology and HistologyFree University of Brussels (VUB)Brussels-JetteBelgium

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