Impact of microplastics and nanoplastics on liver health: Current understanding and future research directions

Chun Cheng Chiang, Hsuan Yeh, Ruei Feng Shiu, Wei Chun Chin, Tzung Hai Yen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


With continuous population and economic growth in the 21st century, plastic pollution is a major global issue. However, the health concern of microplastics/ nanoplastics (MPs/NPs) decomposed from plastic wastes has drawn public attention only in the recent decade. This article summarizes recent works dedicated to understanding the impact of MPs/NPs on the liver-the largest digestive organ, which is one of the primary routes that MPs/NPs enter human bodies. The interrelated mechanisms including oxidative stress, hepatocyte energy re-distribution, cell death and autophagy, as well as immune responses and inflammation, were also featured. In addition, the disturbance of microbiome and gut-liver axis, and the association with clinical diseases such as metabolic dysfunction-associated fatty liver disease, steatohepatitis, liver fibrosis, and cirrhosis were briefly discussed. Finally, we discussed potential directions in regard to this trending topic, highlighted current challenges in research, and proposed possible solutions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1011-1017
Number of pages7
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 07 03 2024

Bibliographical note

©The Author(s) 2024. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Autophagy
  • Cell death
  • Gut-liver axis
  • Innate immunity
  • Liver
  • Metabolic dysfunction-associated fatty liver disease
  • Microplastics
  • Nanoplastics
  • Reactive oxidative species
  • Humans
  • Microplastics/adverse effects
  • Liver Cirrhosis
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
  • Plastics


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