A08: Functional impact of genetic risk factors for disease progression within the gut-liver axis

Metabolic liver disease is a rising epidemic following the expansion of obesity in all parts of the world. Disease progression is associated with changes in intestinal microbiota as well as intestinal barrier function, suggesting a role for the gut-liver axis in metabolic liver disease.

Patatin-like phospholipase domain-containing protein 3 (Pnpla3) is a triacylglycerol lipase active in several cells involved in lipid metabolism, such as hepatocytes. A Pnpla3 polymorphism at position 148 is a well-established risk factor for metabolic liver disease.

In this project we will

  • use a genetic mouse model carrying the PNPLA3 polymorphism to experimentally dissect the contribution of the intestinal microbiota, diet, alcohol and gut barrier integrity to liver disease.
  • translate the experimental observations into the human situation and correlate them to clinical observations and outcomes in patients with PNPLA3 mutations.

Involved scientists

Publications within Project A08