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JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Antimicrobial proteins: intestinal guards to protect against liver disease

Tim Hendrikx, Bernd Schnabl
Journal of Gastroenterology 2019, 54 (3): 209-217
30392013
Alterations of gut microbes play a role in the pathogenesis and progression of many disorders including liver and gastrointestinal diseases. Both qualitative and quantitative changes in gut microbiota have been associated with liver disease. Intestinal dysbiosis can disrupt the integrity of the intestinal barrier leading to pathological bacterial translocation and the initiation of an inflammatory response in the liver. In order to sustain symbiosis and protect from pathological bacterial translocation, antimicrobial proteins (AMPs) such as a-defensins and C-type lectins are expressed in the gastrointestinal tract. In this review, we provide an overview of the role of AMPs in different chronic liver disease such as alcoholic steatohepatitis, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and cirrhosis. In addition, potential approaches to modulate the function of AMPs and prevent bacterial translocation are discussed.

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