Hepatology communications. 2023-02-01; 7.2: e0029.

Malassezia restricta promotes alcohol-induced liver injury

Zeng S, Hartmann P, Park M, Duan Y, Lang S, Llorente C, Wang Y, Cabré N, Fouts DE, Bacher P, Jung WH, Stärkel P, Schnabl B

PMID: 36706195


Chronic alcohol consumption is associated with intestinal fungal dysbiosis, yet we understand little about how alterations of intestinal fungi (mycobiota) contribute to the pathogenesis of alcohol-associated liver disease. By reanalyzing internal transcribed spacer 2 amplicon sequencing of fecal samples from a cohort of 66 patients with alcohol use disorder for presence (as opposed to relative abundance) of fungal species, we observed that the presence of Malassezia restricta was associated with increased markers of liver injury. M. restricta exacerbates ethanol-induced liver injury both in acute binge and chronic ethanol-feeding models in mice. Using bone marrow chimeric mice, we found that the disease exacerbating effect by M. restricta was mediated by C-type lectin domain family 4, member N on bone marrow-derived cells. M. restricta induces inflammatory cytokines and chemokines in Kupffer cells through C-type lectin domain family 4, member N signaling. Targeting fungal pathobionts might be a therapeutic strategy for alcohol-associated liver disease.