Microbiota in Non-alcoholic Liver Disease
The liver is exposed to large amounts of bacterial components and metabolites from the intestine. The gut microbiota has recently evolved as an important player in the gut-liver axis. Various liver disorders, including alcoholic liver disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and primary sclerosing cholangitis, have been reported to be associated with alterations of the gut microbiota. Dysbiosis and a leaky gut are believed to be involved in the pathophysiology of many liver diseases through multiple interactions with the host’s immune system and other cell types. Furthermore, it is believed that hyperresponsiveness of the liver to low-dose lipopolysaccharides arriving from the intestine through the portal vein accelerates the pathophysiology of NAFLD. The short-chain fatty acids produced by gut microorganisms are speculated to contribute to liver disease progression via multiple mechanisms. A number of trials focusing on the gut microbiota are currently ongoing. A greater understanding in the future of the involvement of gut microbiota and its components in the pathogenesis of liver diseases might pave the way for the development of novel therapies for these diseases.
KeywordsMicrobiota Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease Primary sclerosing cholangitis