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Phagocytosis by Kupffer Cells of Liver, 400X
Kupffer cells, also known as stellate macrophages and Kupffer-Browicz cells, are specialized macrophages located in the liver, lining the walls of the sinusoids that form part of the mononuclear phagocyte system. Red blood cells are broken down by phagocytic action, where the hemoglobin molecule is split. The globin chains are re-utilized, while the iron-containing portion, heme, is further broken down into iron, which is re-utilized, and bilirubin, which is conjugated to glucuronic acid within hepatocytes and secreted into the bile.