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HiAlc Klebsiella pneumonia, one of potential chief culprits of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: through generation of endogenous ethanol

By Xiao Wei, Xiangna Zhao, Chen Chen, Jing Lu, Weiwei Cheng, Boxin Li, Huan Li, Weishi Lin, Changyu Tian, Jiangtao Zhao, Daizhi An, Juqiang Han, Xuejun Ma, Wei Li, Xuesong Wang, Xiao Chen, Zheng Zhang, Hui Zeng, Ying Sun, Ruifu Yang, Di Liu, Jing Yuan

Posted 19 Oct 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/446765

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a prelude of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma, is the most common chronic liver disease worldwide. NAFLD has been considerated to be associated with the composition of gut microbiota. However, causal relationship between change of gut microbiome and NAFLD remains unclear. Here we show that Klebsiella pneumoniae was significantly associated with NAFLD through inducing generation of endogenous ethanol. A strain of high alcohol-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae (HiAlc Kpn) was initially isolated from fecal samples of patient with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) accompanied with auto-brewery syndrome (ABS). Gavage of HiAlc Kpn was capable of inducing murine model of fatty liver disease (FLD) in which had typical pathological changes of hepatic steatosis and similar liver gene expression profiles to those of alcohol intake in mice. Data derived from germ-free mice by gnotobiotic gavage further demonstrated that the HiAlc Kpn is the major cause of the changes in FLD mice. Furthermore, using proteomic and metabolitic analysis, we found that HiAlc Kpn induced generation of endogenous alcohol through the 2,3-butanediol fermentation pathway. More interestingly, the blood alcohol concentration was elevated in FLD mice induced by HiAlc Kpn after glucose intake. Clinical analysis showed that HiAlc Kpn were observed in up to 60% of patients with NAFLD. Our results suggested that HiAlc Kpn make important contribution to NAFLD, possibly through generation of the endogenous alcohol. Thus, targeting these bacteria might provide a novel therapeutic for clinical treatment of NAFLD.

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