Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis 2019 May 6;1865(5):912-919. Epub 2018 Jul 6.
Sahlgrenska Academy, Institute of Medicine, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Wallenberg Laboratory, University of Gothenburg, S-413 45 Gothenburg, Sweden. Electronic address:
The gut microbiota affects host physiology and has evolved as an important contributor to health and disease. Gut and liver are closely connected and communicate via the portal vein and the biliary system so the liver is constantly exposed to gut-derived bacterial products and metabolites. The intestinal barrier is important for maintaining physical and functional separation between microbes in the gut and the interior of the host and disruption of the barrier function can lead to bacterial translocation and increased leakage of bacterial metabolites. Liver diseases have been associated with dysbiotic changes in the gut microbiota and impaired gut barrier integrity, thus a future strategy to treat liver disease may be to target the gut microbiota and thereby restore the gut barrier function. This review will summarize and discuss studies that have shown a link between the gut microbiota and liver disease with the main focus on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and alcoholic liver disease.