The exposome and liver disease - how environmental factors affect liver health

Robert Barouki, Michel Samson, Etienne B. Blanc, Massimo Colombo, Jessica Zucman-Rossi, Konstantinos N. Lazaridis, Gary W. Miller, Xavier Coumoul

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Since the initial development of the exposome concept, much effort has been devoted to the characterisation of the exposome through analytical, epidemiological, and toxicological/mechanistic studies. There is now an urgent need to link the exposome to human diseases and to include exposomics in the characterisation of environment-linked pathologies together with genomics and other omics. Liver diseases are particularly well suited for such studies since major functions of the liver include the detection, detoxification, and elimination of xenobiotics, as well as inflammatory responses. It is well known that several liver diseases are associated with i) addictive behaviours such as alcohol consumption, smoking, and to a certain extent dietary imbalance and obesity, ii) viral and parasitic infections, and iii) exposure to toxins and occupational chemicals. Recent studies indicate that environmental exposures are also significantly associated with liver diseases, and these include air pollution (particulate matter and volatile chemicals), contaminants such as polyaromatic hydrocarbons, bisphenol A and per-and poly-fluorinated substances, and physical stressors such as radiation. Furthermore, microbial metabolites and the “gut-liver” axis play a major role in liver diseases. Exposomics is poised to play a major role in the field of liver pathology. Methodological advances such as the exposomics-metabolomics framework, the determination of risk factors’ genomic and epigenomic signatures, and cross-species biological pathway analysis should further delineate the impact of the exposome on the liver, opening the way for improved prevention, as well as the identification of new biomarkers of exposure and effects, and additional therapeutic targets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)492-505
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of hepatology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2023


  • biliary disease
  • exposomics
  • hepatocellular carcinoma
  • metabolomics
  • microbiota
  • mutational signature
  • toxicological pathways
  • viral hepatitis
  • xenobiotic metabolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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