P4 Progression from NAFLD to NASH: Miscommunication between the intestinal microbiota and CD4 T cells as a potential cause
Prof. Nicoala Gagliani, Ph.D.
I. Medical Center
General, Visceral and Thoracic Surgery Department
University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf
Dr. med. Scognamiglio -PostDoc
Dr. Babette Steglich – PostDoc
Merket – TA
The reason why only a fraction of patients suffering from Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) progress to Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) is not clear. Studies on mouse models suggest a role of the intestinal microbiota in this progression.
The intestinal microbiota has an active crosstalk with the immune system, in particular with the CD4+ T cells. CD4+ T cells are considered the main orchestrator of the immune response and they exert their function by secreting a variety of cytokines. Based on this, we hypothesise that “bad” intestinal microbiota promotes the capacity of intestine-derived CD4+ T cells to co-produce multiple cytokines: a cellular phenomenon described as plasticity. In the liver, these plastic cells orchestrate a pathogenic immune response driving NASH.
In summary, this project aims to establish a connection among the intestinal microbiota, the immune system and NASH development and in doing so, identify new therapeutic targets for futures therapies.