The term, gut–liver axis, is used to highlight the close anatomical and functional relationship between the intestine and the liver. It has been increasingly recognized that the gut–liver axis plays an essential role in the development and progression of liver disease. In particular, in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and alcohol-related liver disease, the two most common causes of chronic liver disease, a dysbiotic gut microbiota can influence intestinal permeability, allowing some pathogens or bacteria-derived factors from the gut reaching the liver through the enterohepatic circulation contributing to liver injury, steatohepatitis, and fibrosis progression. Pathways involved are multiple, including changes in bile acid metabolism, intestinal ethanol production, generation of short-chain fatty acids, and other by-products. Bile acids act through dedicated bile acid receptors, farnesoid X receptor and TGR5, in both the ileum and the liver, influencing lipid metabolism, inflammation, and fibrogenesis. Currently, both non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and alcohol-related liver disease lack effective therapies, and therapeutic targeting of gut microbiota and bile acids enterohepatic circulation holds promise. In this review, we summarize current knowledge about the role of gut microbiota in the pathogenesis of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and alcohol-related liver disease, as well as the relevance of microbiota or bile acid-based approaches in the management of those liver diseases.
- alcohol-related liver disease
- bile acids
- fatty liver
- gut–liver axis
- non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases