- Primary liver cancer includes hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and cholangiocarcinoma (CCA). Incidence of liver cancer has been increasing in recent years, and the 5-year survival is <20%. HCC and CCA are often accompanied with a dense stroma coupled with infiltrated immune cells, which is referred to as the tumor microenvironment. Populations of specific immune cells, such as high density of CD163+ macrophages and low density of CD8+ T cells, are associated with prognosis and survival rates in both HCC and CCA.
- Chronic alcohol consumption is linked to the development of alcohol-associated liver disease (ALD). This disease is characterized by a clinical spectrum ranging from steatosis to hepatocellular carcinoma. Several cell types are involved in ALD progression, including hepatic macrophages. Kupffer cells (KCs) are the resident macrophages of the liver involved in the progression of ALD by activating pathways that lead to the production of cytokines and chemokines. In addition, KCs are involved in the production of reactive oxygen species.
- Kupffer cells are the resident macrophages in the liver. They are located in hepatic sinusoid, which allows them to remove foreign materials, pathogens, and apoptotic cells efficiently. Activated Kupffer cells secrete various mediators, including cytokines and chemokines, to initiate immune responses, inflammation, or recruitment of other liver cells. Bile duct ligation (BDL) surgery in rodents is often studied as an animal model of cholestatic liver disease, characterized by obstruction of bile flow.