The liver receives the majority of its blood supply from the portal vein, and thus represents the first pass organ for food antigents and products derived from the intestinal microbiota. The team of Dr Christoph Thaiss, from Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel has recently demonstrated that this microbiota-liver axis plays a fundamental role in the initiation and progression of hepatic disease.

Aberrations in microbiota composition and function, coupled with dysfunction in innate immune signaling, lead to enhanced influx of microbial products from the microbiota to the liver, where they cause TNF-dependent chronic inflammation. This provides an example of the central role of the gut microbiota in hepatic inflammatory, immune, and metabolic diseases. Harnessing our increasing knowledge about the microbiota-liver axis might open new avenues for the development of rational therapies against chronic liver disease.


Dr Thaiss will highlight this strategic subject during Targeting Liver Diseases 2014 World Congress.

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