Recent publication: Immune Dysfunction in Liver diseases

In western countries, liver cirrhosis is generally caused by chronic alcohol consumption. It is responsible for almost 170.000 deaths annually in Europe. Bacterial infections are often responsible for the progression of the disease and death of these patients. However, the mechanisms leading to this immunodeficient state are not well understood. In a recent work published in the Journal of Hepatology, the teams of Gastro-enterology of Erasme Hospital (led by Thierry Gustot) and the Institute for Medical Immunology (led by Stanislas Goriely) studied the immune function of these high-risk cirrhotic patients. Laura Weichselbaum could show that monocytes and dendritic cells from these patients displayed major functional alterations that were associated with poor prognosis. She identified the molecular basis that account for these perturbations and the epigenetic mechanisms leading to altered monocyte differentiation.

Original article: L. Weichselbaum et al, “Epigenetic Basis for Monocyte Dysfunction in Patients With Severe Alcoholic Hepatitis”. J Hepatol 2020