Molecular and Cellular Mediators of the Gut-Liver Axis in the Progression of Liver Diseases.

Frontiers in Medicine
Alix BruneauFrank Tacke


The gut-liver axis covers the bidirectional communication between the gut and the liver, and thus includes signals from liver-to-gut (e.g., bile acids, immunoglobulins) and from gut-to-liver (e.g., nutrients, microbiota-derived products, and recirculating bile acids). In a healthy individual, liver homeostasis is tightly controlled by the mostly tolerogenic liver resident macrophages, the Kupffer cells, capturing the gut-derived antigens from the blood circulation. However, disturbances of the gut-liver axis have been associated to the progression of varying chronic liver diseases, such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, and primary sclerosing cholangitis. Notably, changes of the gut microbiome, or intestinal dysbiosis, combined with increased intestinal permeability, leads to the translocation of gut-derived bacteria or their metabolites into the portal vein. In the context of concomitant or subsequent liver inflammation, the liver is then infiltrated by responsive immune cells (e.g., monocytes, neutrophils, lymphoid, or dendritic cells), and microbiota-derived products may provoke or exacerbate innate immune responses, hence perpetuating liver inflammation and fibrosis, and potentiating the r...Continue Reading

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