Send to

Choose Destination
J Mol Med (Berl). 2017 Sep;95(9):935-949. doi: 10.1007/s00109-017-1568-7. Epub 2017 Jul 20.

MicroRNAs in mucosal inflammation.

Author information

Department of Anesthesiology, University Hospital, LMU Munich, Munich, Germany.
Department of Anesthesiology, the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, McGovern Medical School, Houston, TX, USA.


Of the total human body's surface, the majority is internal surface, belonging to the lungs (100 m2) and intestinal tract (400 m2). In comparison, the external surface area, belonging to the skin, comprises less than 1% (2 m2). Continuous exposure of the mucosal surface to external factors (e.g., pathogens, food particles) requires tight regulation to maintain homeostasis. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have gained noticeable attention as playing important roles in maintaining the steady-state of tissues by modulating immune functions and inflammatory responses. Accordingly, associations have been found between miRNA expression levels and human health conditions and diseases. These findings have important implications in inflammatory diseases involving pulmonary and intestinal mucosa, such as acute lung injury or inflammatory bowel disease. In this review, we highlight the known biology of miRNAs and discuss the role of miRNAs in modulating mucosal defense and homeostasis. Additionally, we discuss miRNAs serving as potential therapeutic targets to treat immunological conditions, particularly mucosal inflammation.


Acute and chronic lung disease; Barrier function; Epithelial immune response; Epithelial inflammation; Inflammatory bowel disease; Mucosal immunity; Mucosal inflammation; Pulmonary inflammation; miRNA

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center