Immunohistochemical detection of myeloperoxidase and its oxidation products in Kupffer cells of human liver

Kyle E. Brown, Elizabeth M. Brunt, Jay W. Heinecke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Scopus citations


Oxidative damage to tissue proteins has been implicated in the pathogenesis of liver disease, but the mechanisms that promote oxidation in vivo are unclear. Hydrogen peroxide is transformed into an array of potentially damaging reactants by the heme protein myeloperoxidase. This proinflammatory enzyme is expressed by circulating neutrophils and monocytes but is generally thought to be absent from tissue macrophages. To determine whether myeloperoxidase is present in Kupffer cells, the fixed-tissue macrophages of liver, Western blot analysis, and immunohistochemistry were performed. Two different antibodies monospecific for myeloperoxidase identified a 60-kd protein, the predicted molecular mass of myeloperoxidase, in human liver extracts. Immunostaining detected the enzyme in sinusoidal lining cells of normal and diseased human livers. Immunofluorescence confocal microscopy demonstrated co-localization of myeloperoxidase and CD68, a monocyte/macrophage marker, in sinusoidal lining cells. Numerous myeloperoxidase-expressing cells were also evident in the fibrous septa of cirrhotic livers. Immunostaining with an antibody to proteins modified by hypochlorous acid, a characteristic product of the enzyme, indicated that myeloperoxidase is enzymatically active in cases of acute liver injury and cirrhosis. These findings identify myeloperoxidase as a component of human Kupffer cells. Oxidative damage resulting from the action of myeloperoxidase may contribute to acute liver injury and hepatic fibrogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2081-2088
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2001


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