Gut microbes. 2020-05-03; 11.3: 265-275.

Intestinal and hepatic microbiota changes associated with chronic ethanol administration in mice

Bluemel S, Wang L, Kuelbs C, Moncera K, Torralba M, Singh H, Fouts DE, Schnabl B

PMID: 30982395


Alcohol-induced liver disease is closely related to translocation of bacterial products and bacteria from the intestine to the liver. However, it is not known whether bacterial translocation to the liver depends on certain intestinal microbiota changes that would predispose bacteria to translocate to the liver. In this study, we investigated the microbiota in the jejunum, ileum, cecum, feces and liver of mice subjected to chronic ethanol feeding using a Lieber DeCarli diet model of chronic ethanol feeding for 8 weeks. We demonstrate that chronic ethanol administration changes alpha diversity in the ileum and the liver and leads to compositional changes especially in the ileum. This is largely driven by an increase in gram-negative phyla - the source of endotoxins. Moreover, gram-negative not only increased in the mucus layer of the ileum but also in liver samples. These results suggest that bacterial translocation to the liver might be associated with microbiota changes in the distal gastrointestinal tract.