A story of liver and gut microbes: How does the intestinal flora affect liver disease? A review of the literature

Mauro Giuffrè, Michele Campigotto, Giuseppina Campisciano, Manola Comar, Lory Saveria Crocè

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Each individual is endowed with a unique gut microbiota (GM) footprint that mediates numerous host-related physiological functions, such as nutrient metabolism, maintenance of the structural integrity of the gut mucosal barrier, immunomodulation, and protection against microbial pathogens. Because of increased scientific interest in the GM, its central role in the pathophysiology of many intestinal and extraintestinal conditions has been recognized. Given the close relationship between the gastrointestinal tract and the liver, many pathological processes have been investigated in the light of a microbial-centered hypothesis of hepatic damage. In this review we introduce to neophytes the vast world of gut microbes, including prevalent bacterial distribution in healthy individuals, how the microbiota is commonly analyzed, and the current knowledge of the role of GM in liver disease pathophysiology. Also, we highlight the potentials and downsides of GM-based therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)G889-G906
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Volume318
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2020

Keywords

  • Chronic liver diseases
  • Dysbiosis
  • Fecal transplantation
  • Gut-brain-liver axis
  • Gut-liver axis
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Microbiome
  • Oral microbiota
  • Probiotics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)

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