Also found in: Medical.
cells of the reticuloendothelial system that are distributed on the inner surface of capillary-like vessels (sinusoids) of the liver in amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, and man.
Kupffer’s cells were studied in detail in 1878 by the German scientist K. Kupffer. Outgrowths of the Kupffer’s cells sometimes intersect the lumen of the sinusoid and open into the perisinusoidal space. Kupffer’s cells are distinguished from undifferentiated endothelial cells by their greater size and by their capacity to capture colloidal and various solid particles. In 1886, the Russian scientist V. K. Vysokovich was the first to describe the phagocytosis of bacteria by the Kupffer’s cells and to note the important protective role of this phenomenon. Kupffer’s cells that fill up with this foreign matter become rounded, lose contact with the vessel wall, are carried away by the blood flow, and die.