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Cell Host Microbe. 2016 Jan 13;19(1):32-43. doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2015.12.005.

The Host Shapes the Gut Microbiota via Fecal MicroRNA.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
2
Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
3
Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
4
Department of Neurology, Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA. Electronic address: hweiner@rics.bwh.harvard.edu.

Abstract

The host gut microbiota varies across species and individuals but is relatively stable over time within an individual. How the host selectively shapes the microbiota is largely unclear. Here, we show that fecal microRNA (miRNA)-mediated inter-species gene regulation facilitates host control of the gut microbiota. miRNAs are abundant in mouse and human fecal samples and present within extracellular vesicles. Cell-specific loss of the miRNA-processing enzyme, Dicer, identified intestinal epithelial cells (IEC) and Hopx-positive cells as predominant fecal miRNA sources. These miRNAs can enter bacteria, such as F. nucleatum and E. coli, specifically regulate bacterial gene transcripts, and affect bacterial growth. IEC-miRNA-deficient (Dicer1(ΔIEC)) mice exhibit uncontrolled gut microbiota and exacerbated colitis, and WT fecal miRNA transplantation restores fecal microbes and ameliorates colitis. These findings identify both a physiologic role by which fecal miRNA shapes the gut microbiota and a potential strategy for manipulating the microbiome.

PMID:
26764595
PMCID:
PMC4847146
DOI:
10.1016/j.chom.2015.12.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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