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We read with interest the recent article by Zhang et al that reported a higher risk of developing dementia in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), with the largest increase in Alzheimer’s disease (AD).1 These findings align with a growing body of evidence which links gut inflammation or leaky gut with neurodegeneration. Lee et al discussed the known shared pathophysiological links between IBD and Parkinson’s disease (PD), underscoring the importance of genetic overlap, microbiota gut-brain axis, autoimmunity, mitochondrial function and autophagy.2 We would like to highlight another less-explored biological connection: microRNAs (miRNAs).
miRNAs are small non-coding RNAs, which regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level by silencing targeting mRNA(s). Intriguingly, miRNAs have been implicated in the pathogenesis of both IBD and neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs). miRNAs have emerged as important regulators of gut and blood–brain barrier (BBB) integrity.3 4 Complementing these findings, we recently found significantly upregulated miR-23a-3p and miR-150-5 p in the blood of patients who had undergone successful intestinal microbiota transplantation (IMT) for recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (rCDI).5 Furthermore, we demonstrated the cytoprotective effects of combining these two IMT-regulated miRNAs in intestinal epithelial cell (IEC) …
Contributors TMM: conceptualisation, writing original draft, critical revision, final approval. PG: production of microRNA-based nanoformulations. CP, AU-K, MF and PG: in vitro experimental lab work on intestinal and neuronal cell lines. CP, DK, MF, AU-K, LC, CA and PG: critical revision, final approval. All the authors have approved the manuscript.
Funding This work was partly funded by the Nottingham Digestive Diseases Biomedical Research Centre, University of Nottinghamand the Health and Wellbeing NTU Strategic Research Theme.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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