Liver sinusoidal endothelial cells - gatekeepers of hepatic immunity

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

External organisations

  • University of Birmingham
  • University Hospital Birmingham


Liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSECs) line the low shear, sinusoidal capillary channels of the liver and are the most abundant non-parenchymal hepatic cell population. LSECs do not simply form a barrier within the hepatic sinusoids but have vital physiological and immunological functions, including filtration, endocytosis, antigen presentation and leukocyte recruitment. Reflecting these multifunctional properties, LSECs display unique structural and phenotypic features that differentiate them from the capillary endothelium present within other organs. It is now clear that LSECs have a critical role in maintaining immune homeostasis within the liver and in mediating the immune response during acute and chronic liver injury. In this Review, we outline how LSECs influence the immune microenvironment within the liver and discuss their contribution to immune-mediated liver diseases and the complications of fibrosis and carcinogenesis.


Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Reviews. Gastroenterology & Hepatology
Early online date29 May 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 May 2018


  • Journal Article, Review