Cell-in-Cell Structures in the Liver: A Tale of Four E’s

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The liver is our largest internal organ and it plays major roles in drug detoxification and immunity, where the ingestion of extracellular material through phagocytosis is a critical pathway. Phagocytosis is the deliberate endocytosis of large particles, microbes, dead cells or cell debris and can lead to cell-in-cell structures. Various types of cell endocytosis have been recently described for hepatic epithelia (hepatocytes), which are non-professional phagocytes. Given that up to 80% of the liver comprises hepatocytes, the biological impact of cell-in-cell structures in the liver can have profound effects in liver regeneration, inflammation and cancer. This review brings together the latest reports on four types of endocytosis in the liver -efferocytosis, entosis, emperipolesis and enclysis, with a focus on hepatocyte biology.


Original languageEnglish
Article number650
JournalFrontiers in immunology
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2020