Because of its unique metabolism and relationship to the gastrointestinal tract, the liver is an important target for the damaging effects of infectious organisms, endotoxins, drugs, and metabolic disease. Initial damage from any of these aetiologic agents stimulates the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines by the Kupffer cells and heterophils, leading to the accumulation and activation of heterophils in the hepatic vasculature. Ongoing damage and further release of cytokines and chemokines from the hepatic parenchyma results in extravasation of these heterophils and an attack on the hepatocytes, resulting in cellular death or damage.