Abstract

MicroRNAs (miRNAs), small non-coding RNAs, have recently been described as crucial contributors to intestinal homeostasis. They can interact with the gut microbiota in a reciprocal manner and deeply impact the host health status, leading to several disorders when unbalanced. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract that co-occurs with alterations of the gut microbiota, and whose aetiology remains largely unclear. On one hand, host miRNA could be playing a relevant role in IBD pathophysiology by shaping the gut microbiota. The gut microbiome, on the other hand, may regulate the expression of host miRNAs resulting in intestinal epithelial dysfunction, altered autophagy, and immune hyperactivation. Interestingly, it has been hypothesized that their reciprocal impact may be used for therapeutic goals. This review describes the latest research and suggests mechanisms through which miRNA and intestinal microbiota, as joint actors, may participate specifically in IBD pathophysiology. Furthermore, we discuss the diagnostic power and therapeutic potential resulting from their bidirectional communication after faecal transplantation, probiotics intake, anti-miRNAs or miRNA mimics administration. The current literature is summarized in the present work in a comprehensive manner hoping to provide a better understanding of the miRNA-microbiota crosstalk and to facilitate their application in IBD.

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