Gut Microbiota and Host Reaction in Liver Diseases

Hiroshi Fukui
Microorganisms 2015 October 28, 3 (4): 759-91
Although alcohol feeding produces evident intestinal microbial changes in animals, only some alcoholics show evident intestinal dysbiosis, a decrease in Bacteroidetes and an increase in Proteobacteria. Gut dysbiosis is related to intestinal hyperpermeability and endotoxemia in alcoholic patients. Alcoholics further exhibit reduced numbers of the beneficial Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Large amounts of endotoxins translocated from the gut strongly activate Toll-like receptor 4 in the liver and play an important role in the progression of alcoholic liver disease (ALD), especially in severe alcoholic liver injury. Gut microbiota and bacterial endotoxins are further involved in some of the mechanisms of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and its progression to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). There is experimental evidence that a high-fat diet causes characteristic dysbiosis of NAFLD, with a decrease in Bacteroidetes and increases in Firmicutes and Proteobacteria, and gut dysbiosis itself can induce hepatic steatosis and metabolic syndrome. Clinical data support the above dysbiosis, but the details are variable. Intestinal dysbiosis and endotoxemia greatly affect the cirrhotics in relation to major complications and prognosis. Metagenomic approaches to dysbiosis may be promising for the analysis of deranged host metabolism in NASH and cirrhosis. Management of dysbiosis may become a cornerstone for the future treatment of liver diseases.


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