Macrophages play an important role in the process of liver infection, inflammation and disease. Liver macrophages mainly include Kupffer cells and infiltrating monocyte-derived macrophages. After being stimulated, liver macrophages can be polarized into pro-inflammatory M1 macrophages and anti-inflammatory M2 macrophages. M1 macrophages mainly secrete pro-inflammatory cytokines and exert host immune function; M2 macrophages secrete anti-inflammatory cytokines, which are involved in repair and regeneration after injury. In this review, we focus on the potential roles of macrophages in inflammatory liver disorders, especially emphasizing the polarization of macrophages during liver inflammation, and their effects on the progress and outcomes of liver diseases.
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