Insights into Macrophage/Monocyte-Endothelial Cell Crosstalk in the Liver: A Role for Trem-2

Inês Coelho, Nádia Duarte, Maria Paula Macedo, Carlos Penha-Gonçalves

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Liver disease accounts for millions of deaths worldwide annually being a major cause of global morbidity. Hepatotoxic insults elicit a multilayered response involving tissue damage, inflammation, scar formation, and tissue regeneration. Liver cell populations act coordinately to maintain tissue homeostasis and providing a barrier to external aggressors. However, upon hepatic damage, this tight regulation is disrupted, leading to liver pathology which spans from simple steatosis to cirrhosis. Inflammation is a hallmark of liver pathology, where macrophages and endothelial cells are pivotal players in promoting and sustaining disease progression. Understanding the drivers and mediators of these interactions will provide valuable information on what may contribute to liver resilience against disease. Here, we summarize the current knowledge on the role of macrophages and liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSEC) in homeostasis and liver pathology. Moreover, we discuss the expanding body of evidence on cell-to-cell communication between these two cell compartments and present triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells-2 (Trem-2) as a plausible mediator of this cellular interlink. This review consolidates relevant knowledge that might be useful to guide the pursue of successful therapeutic targets and pharmacological strategies for controlling liver pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1248
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 17 Mar 2021


  • macrophages
  • endothelial cells
  • liver disease
  • cell interactions
  • Trem-2


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