Lay Summaries - Volume 1 Issue 5

Lay Summary: Lipopolysaccharide, a gut-derived bacterial endotoxin, has been implicated in the development of chronic liver disease, but its relevance at the population level remains unclear. We found that serum lipopolysaccharide levels were associated with incident advanced liver disease in the general population, with the highest tertile accounting for up to 30% of the risk of hospitalization, cancer or death related to liver disease.
Lay Summary: Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is a disease of the liver that can present in acute or chronic hepatitis. We examined whether KIR/HLA pairs were associated with AIH susceptibility or disease progression. KIR3DL1/HLA-B Bw4 was a novel KIR/HLA pair related to a favorable clinical outcome, while cirrhosis at the initial diagnosis was a risk factor for poor prognosis. Thus, frequent and careful surveillance is advised for KIR3DL1/HLA-B Bw4-negative patients with AIH and cirrhosis.
Lay Summary: There is an urgent need for tools to non-invasively diagnose and monitor non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). This study evaluates the performance of a new tool for fast NASH diagnosis based on mid-infrared (MIR) spectroscopy. Using serum samples from severely obese patients who underwent a bariatric procedure, which enabled a concomitant liver biopsy to be performed, the MIR spectroscopy model performed well in screening patients for NASH compared to a traditional, histological diagnosis.
Lay Summary: Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is a chronic cholestatic liver disease associated with progressive inflammation of the bile duct, leading to fibrosis and end-stage liver disease. In this study we explore the role of a type of immune cell, the macrophage, in contributing to PSC as a disease, hoping that our findings direct scientists towards new treatment targets. Our findings based on human liver and blood analyses demonstrate a greater frequency of a particular subset of immune cell, the CD68+CD206+ macrophage, with significantly higher TGR-5 expression on this subset in PSC.