Published online Dec 28, 2020. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v26.i48.7603
Peer-review started: October 20, 2020
First decision: November 13, 2020
Revised: November 24, 2020
Accepted: December 6, 2020
Article in press: December 6, 2020
Published online: December 28, 2020
Gut microbiota is a community of microorganisms that reside in the gastrointestinal tract. An increasing number of studies has demonstrated that the gut-liver axis plays a critical role in liver homeostasis. Dysbiosis of gut microbiota can cause liver diseases, including nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and alcoholic liver disease. Preclinical and clinical investigations have substantiated that the metabolites and other molecules derived from gut microbiota and diet interaction function as mediators to cause liver fibrosis, cirrhosis, and final cancer. This effect has been demonstrated to be associated with dysregulation of intrahepatic immunity and liver metabolism. Targeting these findings have led to the development of novel preventive and therapeutic strategies. Here, we review the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying gut microbiota-mediated impact on liver disease. We also summarize the advancement of gut microbiota-based therapeutic strategies in the control of liver diseases.
Core Tip: Accumulating evidence shows that gut microbiota plays a critical role in liver pathophysiology and targeting gut microbiota is a potential treatment option for chronic liver disease. Herein, this review explores the cellular and molecular mechanisms of how gut microbiota contributes to liver diseases, including alcohol-induced and nonalcohol-induced liver fatty liver diseases, liver fibrosis, cirrhosis, and cancer. This review also summarizes the current gut microbiota-based therapeutic strategies and discusses future directions in promoting gut microbiota-based therapy for liver diseases.