Unveiling the Role of Gut Microbiota in NAFLD Pathogenesis

The human gut microbiome is a diverse community comprising 10-100 trillion microorganisms that play various roles, including metabolic, protective, structural, and neurological functions within the host. Notably, the gut microbiota, through metabolite production and fermentation, modulates signaling pathways crucial for maintaining intestinal mucosal homeostasis. The composition of the gut microbiota can be influenced by various external factors. When the delicate balance between the gastrointestinal tract and resident microbiota is disrupted, it can lead to the development of both intestinal and extraintestinal diseases, including metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes (T2D), dyslipidemia, and metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease (MASLD).

One of our primary lab projects focuses on investigating the role of gut microbiome profiles in the pathogenesis of MASLD. We aim to understand how the gut microbiota-derived metabolome may be linked to the progression of simple steatosis to metabolic dysfunction-associated steatohepatitis (MASH), fibrosis, or even hepatocarcinoma (HCC). To achieve this, we are developing a multi-omic platform that combines metagenomics for determining gut microbiota composition and metabolomics for analyzing serum metabolites associated with the gut microbiota, such as short-chain fatty acids, bile acids and others.