Research Article

Gut microbiome–mediated bile acid metabolism regulates liver cancer via NKT cells

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Science  25 May 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6391, eaan5931
DOI: 10.1126/science.aan5931

Bile acids and liver cancer

Liver cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. The composition of the gut microbiome influences many human diseases, including liver inflammatory disorders. Ma et al. found that commensal gut bacteria can recruit the immune system to control the growth of liver tumors in mice (see the Perspective by Hartmann and Kronenberg). Clostridium species modified bile acids to signal liver sinusoidal endothelial cells to produce the chemokine CXCL16. This recruited natural killer T (NKT) immune cells to perform antitumor surveillance of the liver. Growth of both primary and metastatic cancer was reduced by NKT cell–driven killing.

Science, this issue p. eaan5931; see also p. 858