Volume 12 Issue 12, December 2015

Volume 12 Issue 12

Cover image supplied by H. Plovier and P. D. Cani, WELBIO (Walloon Excellence in Life sciences and BIOtechnology), Louvain Drug Research Institue, Metabolism and Nutrition research group, Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium. Founded by an ERC Starting Grant 336452-ENIGMO.Immunofluorescence image of enteroendocrine L cells in the epithelium and gut bacteria in the luminal content of the mouse proximal colon. Tissue was stained to show L cells (mouse anti-GLP1) and intermediary filaments of the colonic epithelium (rabbit anti-cytokeratin 8). Nuclei were stained by Hoechst 33342. Gut microbes present in the colonic content can be seen thanks to aspecific staining.

Research Highlights

News and Views

  • News & Views |

    Treatment failure associated with HCV resistance to newly developed direct-acting antiviral agents is not an uncommon occurrence and poses a substantial problem to clinicians trying to re-treat patients who have failed available interferon-free treatments. A new study suggests that host-targeted agents are the way forward, but is this approach really feasible?

    • Jean-Michel Pawlotsky
  • News & Views |

    Colectomy is rightly viewed as a last resort in selected patients with slow-transit constipation. A new study presents US national data that raises new concerns regarding the outcome of this procedure and perhaps questions whether it should be offered at all.

    • Charles H. Knowles
  • News & Views |

    Whereas the status of the liver as privileged and exempt from humoral rejection has fallen, attempts at breaching the blood group barrier during transplantation have continued. Previously restricted to paediatric patients and emergencies, advances in immunosuppression protocols have improved outcomes to the point that ABO-incompatible liver transplantation might be more widely used in adults.

    • Ali Zarrinpar
    •  & Ronald W. Busuttil


  • Review Article |

    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is an antigenic lesion infiltrated by T cells, but factors within the tumour and its microenvironment dampen the immune response and prevent effective antitumour immunity. The stepwise elucidation of the various immunosuppressive mechanisms at play in HCC has exposed new therapeutic options. This Review gives a comprehensive overview of the different immunotherapeutic modalities applicable in HCC, including vaccines, adoptive T-cell therapy, cytokines, gene therapy and immune checkpoint inhibitors.

    • Jesús Prieto
    • , Ignacio Melero
    •  & Bruno Sangro
  • Review Article |

    Leaks are the most common post-operative complication of bariatric surgery; a procedure which is on the rise owing to the increased prevalence of obesity. Pierre Eisendrath and Jacques Deviere discuss the use of endoscopy as a therapeutic approach to resolving these complications, showing that it is a valid alternative to avoid additional surgical procedures.

    • Pierre Eisendrath
    •  & Jacques Deviere
  • Review Article |

    Traditionally, the diagnosis of hepatorenal syndrome has been based on stringent criteria that are not ideal for patients with cirrhosis and kidney injury, leading to underdiagnosis. Acute kidney injury is now proposed to characterize renal disease in patients with cirrhosis. Florence Wong describes the evolution of these criteria that have addressed this issue and improved care for these patients.

    • Florence Wong



  • Essay |

    IBD is a chronic, incurable disease and can be a major burden to health-care resources. Moreover, the epidemiology of IBD is changing worldwide. In this Perspectives, Gilaad Kaplan discusses the current global burden of IBD and how this might evolve over the next decade, as well as the challenges that might arise with this changing incidence.

    • Gilaad G. Kaplan