15 Citations (Scopus)


The liver is a major target organ for metastasis of both gastrointestinal and extra-gastrointestinal cancers. Due to its frequently inoperable nature, liver metastasis represents a leading cause of cancer-associated death worldwide. In the past years, the pivotal role of the immune system in this process is being increasingly recognised. In particular, the role of the hepatic macrophages, both recruited monocyte-derived macrophages (Mo-Mfs) and tissue-resident Kupffer cells (KCs), has been shown to be more versatile than initially imagined. However, the lack of tools to easily distinguish between these two macrophage populations has hampered the assignment of particular functionalities to specific hepatic macrophage subsets. In this Review, we highlight the most remarkable findings regarding the origin and functions of hepatic macrophage populations, and we provide a detailed description of their distinct roles in the different phases of the liver metastatic process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-215
Number of pages14
JournalCellular Immunology
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018


  • Animals
  • Cytokines/immunology
  • Hepatocytes/immunology
  • Homeostasis/immunology
  • Humans
  • Kupffer Cells/immunology
  • Liver Neoplasms/immunology
  • Liver/immunology
  • Macrophages/immunology
  • Neoplasm Metastasis


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