Article Highlight | 4-Jan-2024

Understanding how gut bacteria affect chronic liver diseases

Zhejiang University

The gut microbiome, consisting of trillions of bacteria, viruses, and fungi, plays a crucial role in digestion, nutrient absorption, and the regulation of host metabolism and immunity. Since the liver receives blood from the gastrointestinal tract through the portal vein, it stands as the primary organ exposed to gut-derived microbes and their metabolites. Unraveling the interactions between the gut microbiota and the liver might help us develop innovative microbiota-based diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.

In the editorial published on 4 September 2023, in the “gut-liver axis” special issue of the journal Hepatobiliary & Pancreatic Diseases International, Dr. Jian-Gao Fan and Dr. Lu Jiang from Xinhua Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine provided a comprehensive elucidation of the pivotal role of gut microbiota in various liver diseases. They underscored the critical significance of advancing microbiota-based therapeutic interventions in clinical practice.In this special issue, the role of gut microbiota and microbial products were summarized in a variety of chronic liver diseases, including nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, drug-induced liver injury, and cholestatic liver disease. In each aspect, the role of selected gut microbiota that contribute to the disease pathogenesis and how does gut microbiota modification affect disease progression were discussed. This special issue entitled “gut-liver axis” highlights the connection between gut homeostasis and liver health. Advances in microbiome research are poised to revolutionize treatment by developing personalized approaches such as tailored fecal microbiota transplantation based on each patient's unique gut bacteria profile.

More related articles in this special issue

1. Wu MY, Fan JG. Gut microbiome and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
2. Jiang L, Xu J, Cheng SY, et al. The gut microbiome and intestinal failure-associated liver disease
3. Bhattacharya A, Taylor RE, Guo GL. In vivo mouse models to study bile acid synthesis and signaling
4. Hartmann P, Lang S, Schierwagen R, et al. Fecal cytolysin does not predict disease severity in acutely decompensated cirrhosis and acute-on-chronic liver failure
5. Chu HK, Ai Y, Cheng ZL, et al. Contribution of gut microbiota to drug-induced liver injury

Combining microbiome signatures with systemic microbially derived metabolites could help in the future to diagnose some liver diseases in routine care. With the rapid progress in microbiological technologies, more microbiota-targeted therapies hold the potential to benefit a broader spectrum of patients with liver diseases, representing a significant leap forward in both treatment efficacy and personalized therapy.





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About Hepatobiliary & Pancreatic Diseases International

Hepatobiliary & Pancreatic Diseases International (HBPD INT) (ISSN 1499-3872 / CN 33-1391/R), owned by the First Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine in China, publishes peer-reviewed original papers, reviews and editorials concerned with clinical practice and research in the fields of hepatobiliary and pancreatic diseases.

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