A link between gut bacteria and liver antitumor immunosurveillance by NKT cells

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It is known that bile acids are important in liver cancer development and Tim F. Greten and colleagues, authors of this important work, focused their investigations on the role of bile acids in immunosurveillance of liver tumors and in its connection with the gut microbiome. They induced changes in the gut bacteria profile and examined changes of hepatic antitumor immunity, especially in those mediated by Natural Killer T cells and discovered the interesting connection between gut microbiome, bile acids, and antitumor hepatic NKTcells.

The authors summarize the mechanisms that connect gut microbiome and inhibition of tumor growth here:

Gut microbiome modulates liver cancer through bile acid–regulated NKTcells. Gut microbiome uses bile acids as a messenger to regulate chemokine CXCL16 level on liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSEC) and thus controls the accumulation of CXCR6+ hepatic NKTcells. The accumulated NKTcells have an activated phenotype and inhibit liver tumor growth.

This is a promising finding with possible future therapeutic applications and in some sense a possible new way of cancer immunotherapy based on gut microbiome modification.


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Raquel Tobes