Potential Therapeutic Bacterium Identified for Fatty Liver

April 6th 2017
Lauren Santye, Assistant Editor
Lauren Santye, Assistant Editor

The oral administration of Faecalibacterium prausnitzii improves fatty liver in mice.

Treatment with the gut microbeFaecalibacterium prausnitziidecreased hepatic fat content in mouse models of fatty liver that were fed a high-fat diet.

In a study published inISME Journal, the investigators sought to examine whether treatment with oralF. prausnitziiwould decrease hepatic fat content in high-fat fed mice.

The results of the study showed thatF. prausnitzii-treated mice had lower hepatic fat content—–AST and ALT––as well as increased fatty-acid oxidation compared with the high-fat control mice.

In addition, hepatic lipidomic analyses showed a decrease in several species of triacylglycerols, phospholipids, and cholesteryl esters. The expression of adiponectin was also increased in the visceral adipose tissue.

Although the mice treated withF. prausnitziihad more subcutaneous fat, the fat was healthy because it was more insulin sensitive and less inflamed, according to the study. Treatment withF. prausnitziialso increased muscle mass, which may be linked to enhanced mitochondrial respiration.

The authors noted that this issue needs to be studied further.

The results of the study suggest that fatty liver could potentially be treated with this therapeutic bacterium, but it is not yet acceptable for treatment in humans. Additionally,F. prausnitziiis strictly anaerobic and difficult to grow, which is why the investigators doubt it could be delivered alive to humans.

The investigators are now looking for alternative, natural ways to increase the natural abundance ofF. prausnitziiin the host organism to treat fatty liver, such as through diets or prebiotics.

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