Recognition by macrophages and liver cells of opsonized phospholipid vesicles and phospholipid headgroups

Seyed Moghimi, A. C. Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

146 Scopus citations


The interaction of liposomes with blood proteins is believed to play a critical role in the clearance pharmacokinetics and tissue distribution of intravenously injected liposomes. In this article we have focused our discussion on the interaction of liposomes with key blood proteins, which include immunoglobulins, complement proteins, apolipoproteins, fetuin, von Willebrand factor, and thrombospondin, and their role in liposome recognition by professional phagocytes and nonmacrophage hepatic cells. Alternatively, macrophages as well as hepatocytes and liver endothelial cells may phagocytose/endocytose liposomes via direct recognition of phospholipid headgroups. A number of plasma membrane receptors such as lectin receptors, CD14, various classes of scavenger receptors (e.g., classes A, B, and D), FcγRI and FcγRII-B2 may participate in phospholipid recognition. These concepts are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalPharmaceutical Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 25 2001


  • Complement activation
  • Complement receptors
  • Kupffer cells
  • Liposomes
  • Macrophage
  • Opsonins
  • Phosphatidylserine
  • Scavenger receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Pharmacology


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