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Microplastic-mediated new mechanism of liver damage: From the perspective of the gut-liver axis

February 15, 2024

Microplastics (MPs) are environmental contaminants that are present in all environments and can enter the human body, accumulate in various organs, and cause harm through the ingestion of food, inhalation, and dermal contact. The connection between bowel and liver disease and the interplay between gut, liver, and flora has been conceptualized as the “gut-liver axis”. Microplastics can alter the structure of microbial communities in the gut and the liver can also be a target for microplastic invasion. Numerous studies have found that when MPs impair human health, they not only promote dysbiosis of the gut microbiota and disruption of the gut barrier but also cause liver damage. For this reason, the gut-liver axis provides a new perspective in understanding this toxic response. The cross-talk between MPs and the gut-liver axis has attracted the attention of the scientific community, but knowledge about whether MPs cause gut-liver interactions through the gut-liver axis is still very limited, and the effect of MPs on liver injury is not well understood. MPs can directly induce microbiota disorders and gut barrier dysfunction. As a result, harmful bacteria and metabolites in the gut enter the blood through the weak intestinal barrier (portal vein channel along the gut-liver axis) and reach the liver, causing liver damage (inflammatory damage, metabolic disorders, oxidative stress, etc.). This review provides an integrated perspective of the gut-liver axis to help conceptualize the mechanisms by which MP exposure induces gut microbiota dysbiosis and hepatic injury and highlights the connection between MPs and the gut-liver axis. Therefore, from the perspective of the gut-liver axis, targeting intestinal flora is an important way to eliminate microplastic liver damage.

Publication Year 2024
Title Microplastic-mediated new mechanism of liver damage: From the perspective of the gut-liver axis
DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2024.170962
Authors Xiaomei Wang, Kaili Deng, Pei Zhen Zhang, Qiqing Chen, Jason Tyler Magnuson, Wenhui Qiu, Yuping Zhou
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Science of the Total Environment
Index ID 70252078
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Columbia Environmental Research Center