Nonalcoholic steatosis and steatohepatitis IV. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease abnormalities in macrophage function and cytokines.
Macrophage products, such as cytokines, prostanoids, nitric oxide, and reactive oxygen intermediates, influence the function and viability of macrophages and neighboring cells. Given that the liver has one of the largest resident macrophage populations in the body, it is not surprising that hepatic macrophages [i.e., Kupffer cells (KC)] are involved in the pathogenesis of many kinds of liver disease. This review summarizes the abnormalities that have been demonstrated in bone marrow, peritoneal and hepatic macrophage of leptin-resistant (fa/fa) rats and leptin-deficient (ob/ob) mice, two animal models for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Evidence supports the concept that altered KC function influences the viability of other cells, such as lymphocytes and hepatocytes, in fatty livers, thereby contributing to the pathogenesis of NAFLD in animals with reduced leptin activity. Further work is needed to determine whether KC dysfunction is a component of more generalized mechanisms that lead to NAFLD.
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