Kupffer cells reside within the liver sinusoid and serve as gatekeepers. They produce pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines and other biologically important molecules upon the engagement of pattern recognition receptors such as Toll-like receptors. Kupffer cell-ablated mice established by in vivo
treatment with clodronate liposomes have revealed many important features of Kupffer cells. In this paper, we review the importance of Kupffer cells in murine acute liver injuries and focus on the following two models: lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced liver injury, which is induced by priming with Propionibacterium acne
s and subsequent challenge with LPS, and hypercoagulability-mediated acute liver failure such as that in concanavalin A (Con A)-induced hepatitis. Kupffer cells are required for LPS sensitization induced by P. acnes
and are a major cellular source of interleukin-18, which induces acute liver injury following LPS challenge. Kupffer cells contribute to Con A-induced acute liver failure by initiating pathogenic, intrasinusoidal thrombosis in collaboration with sinusoidal endothelial cells. The mechanisms underlying these models may shed light on human liver injuries induced by various etiologies such as viral infection and/or abnormal metabolism.