Study raises hopes for development of new treatment for chronic liver disease

Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is a chronic autoimmune disease of the liver caused by inflammation and scarring of the bile ducts of the liver. Patients with PSC often have few options of treatment other than to undergo a liver transplantation.

In a collaborative study with Keio University and other institutions, Professor Masahira Hattori at the Faculty of Science and Engineering discovered three types of intestinal bacteria, which could activate Th17 cells found in livers, present at high rate in feces of patients with PSC. Among the three types of bacteria discovered, one of them is Klebsiella, which was successfully shown in the study to invoke extreme immune response in livers of laboratory mice by opening a hole in the epithelium of large intestine, breaking the intestinal barrier and migrating to the lymph nodes outside the intestinal barrier. In the same study, it was also found that by using antimicrobial that eliminates Klebsiella, Th17 immune response in livers of laboratory mice was reduced by about 30%. These findings could lead to the future development of new medicine and diagnostic drugs to treat PSC.

The results and findings of this study were published in Nature Microbiology on January 14, 2019.


Published in Nature Microbiology on January 14, 2019

Title: Gut pathobionts underlie intestinal barrier dysfunction and liver T helper 17 cell immune response in primary sclerosing cholangitis

Authors: Nobuhiro Nakamoto, Nobuo Sasaki, Ryo Aoki, Kentaro Miyamoto, Wataru Suda, Toshiaki Teratani, Takahiro Suzuki, Yuzo Koda, Po-Sung Chu, Nobuhito Taniki, Akihiro Yamaguchi, Mitsuhiro Kanamori, Nobuhiko Kamada, Masahira Hattori, Hiroshi Ashida, Michiie Sakamoto, Koji Atarashi, Seiko Narushima, Akihiko Yoshimura, Kenya Honda, Toshiro Sato & Takanori Kanai

DOI: s41564-018-0333-1

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