Role of microbiota and related metabolites in gastrointestinal tract barrier function in NAFLD

Maria Victoria Fernandez-Cantos, Diego Garcia-Morena, Valeria Iannone, Hani El-Nezami, Marjukka Kolehmainen, Oscar P Kuipers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)


The Gastrointestinal (GI) tract is composed of four main barriers: microbiological, chemical, physical and immunological. These barriers play important roles in maintaining GI tract homeostasis. In the crosstalk between these barriers, microbiota and related metabolites have been shown to influence GI tract barrier integrity, and alterations of the gut microbiome might lead to an increase in intestinal permeability. As a consequence, translocation of bacteria and their products into the circulatory system increases, reaching proximal and distal tissues, such as the liver. One of the most prevalent chronic liver diseases, Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD), has been associated with an altered gut microbiota and barrier integrity. However, the causal link between them has not been fully elucidated yet. In this review, we aim to highlight relevant bacterial taxa and their related metabolites affecting the GI tract barriers in the context of NAFLD, discussing their implications in gut homeostasis and in disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1879719
Number of pages26
JournalTissue Barriers
Issue number3
Early online date19-Jul-2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • GI tract microbiota
  • microbial metabolites
  • GI tract barriers
  • intestinal permeability

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