MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNA species involved in diverse physiological processes, including immunity. Accumulating evidence suggests that miRNA-induced gene silencing plays a significant role in the regulation of the intestinal immune system by the gut commensal microbiota. This review aims to provide an overview of the intestinal miRNA-mediated crosstalk between the gut microbiota and the host intestinal immune system. First, we describe the role of miRNAs in regulating the intestinal immune system. Then we describe the effect of the gut microbiota on intestinal miRNA expression. Subsequently, we describe the role of miRNAs in the modulation of the intestinal immune system by the gut microbiota. Finally, we describe the effect of host miRNAs on the gut microbiota. Although the entire picture of this complex crosstalk remains unclear, efforts to unravel it will contribute significantly to developing new strategies for preventing and treating intestinal immune disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease.
Clostridioides difficile colonizes a polymicrobial environment in the intestine and is a causative agent for antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD) and pseudomembranous colitis (PMC). The most important virulence factors of C. difficile are bacterial toxins, and three toxins (toxin A, toxin B, and binary toxin) are produced by toxigenic strains. Other virulence factors include spores, flagella, capsules, biofilms, hydrolytic enzymes and adhesins. C. difficile infection (CDI) is specifically diagnosed by anaerobic culture and toxin detection by either nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). For treatment of CDI, metronidazole, vancomycin and fidaxomicin are used based on the severity of CDI. Mutual interaction between C. difficile and gut microbiota is associated with pathogenesis of CDI, and decreased microbial diversity with altered gut microbiome was detected in CDI patients. Restoration of certain gut microbiota is considered to be potentially effective for the prevention and treatment of CDI, and an ideal goal for CDI patients is restoration of the gut microbiota to a healthy state. Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is a highly successful method of microbiome restoration and has been reported to be effective for the prevention of recurrent CDI. In addition, approaches to restoring the gut microbiota by using probioitcs and live biotherapeutic products (LBPs) are currently being studied to examine the effect on CDI. Further microbial ecological research on C. difficile and gut microbiota could lead to a better understanding of the pathogenesis and treatment of CDI.
Obesity-induced inflammation plays a substantial role in the development of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. The altered gut flora in obesity can also contribute to metabolic dysregulation and systemic inflammation. However, it remains unclear how dysregulation of systemic inflammation in obesity affects the gut microbiome. We hypothesized that colchicine’s systemic anti-inflammatory effects in obesity would be associated with improvements in gut microbial diversity. We conducted a secondary analysis of a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial, in which 40 adults with obesity, high C-reactive protein (CRP) (≥2.0 mg/L), insulin resistance (homeostatic model of insulin resistance: HOMA-IR ≥2.6 mg/L), and metabolic syndrome (MetS) were randomized to three months of colchicine 0.6 mg or placebo tablets twice daily. Serum and stool samples were collected at baseline and final visit. Gut microbiota composition was characterized from stool DNA by dual-index amplification and sequencing of 16S ribosomal RNA. Pre- and post-intervention stool samples were available for 15 colchicine- and 12 placebo-treated subjects. Circulating high sensitivity CRP (hsCRP), interleukin-6, resistin, white blood count, and neutrophils were significantly decreased in the colchicine arm as compared to placebo. However, changes in stool microbiome alpha diversity, as assessed by the Chao1, Shannon, and Pielou indices, were not significant between groups. Amplicon sequence variant counts were unchanged among all examined phyla or families. Oscillibacter was the only genus to demonstrate even a nominally significant change. Among adults with obesity and MetS, colchicine significantly improved systemic inflammation. However, this anti-inflammatory effect was not associated with significant changes in the gut microbiome. Further studies are warranted to investigate this relationship.
Searching for non-toxic and harmless feed ingredients that can improve growth performance and host immunity has always been the focus of attention in the protected areas for artificially bred Dabry’s sturgeons. The present study explored the effect of dietary Poria cocos and Astragalus polysaccharides on the antioxidant status, expression of immune related genes, and composition and putative functions of gut bacterial communities in Dabry’s sturgeons for the first time. In this study, Dabry’s sturgeons were randomly divided into 3 groups and fed diets of normal, P. cocos polysaccharide-added (200 mg/kg), and Astragalus polysaccharide-added (200 mg/kg) food for 14 days. The results indicated that dietary Astragalus polysaccharide can increase the final body weight of Dabry’s sturgeon. Compared with normal breeding individuals, feeding diets containing the P. cocos and Astragalus polysaccharides up-regulated the activity of superoxide dismutase, lysozyme, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase while also decreasing the levels of malondialdehyde. In addition, the Astragalus polysaccharide group had higher gene expression of two inflammatory cytokines, tumor necrosis factor alpha and immunoglobulin M, than the control group. Analysis of intestinal microbiota revealed that the dietary Astragalus polysaccharide improved the richness and diversity of major gut microbiota in Dabry’s sturgeons, while the structure in the P. cocos polysaccharide group was clearly distinguished from that of the control group. Our results preliminarily indicated that dietary supplementation of P. cocos and Astragalus polysaccharides may contribute to better performance in growth, development, and inflammatory response for Dabry’s sturgeons, and they provide basic guidance for plant polysaccharide additives in artificial breeding of sturgeons.
The D-amino acid content of Ishizuchi-kurocha, a post-fermented tea produced in Ehime, Japan, was measured. Ishizuchi-kurocha mainly contains D-glutamic acid and D-alanine, but it also contains a small amount of D-aspartic acid. Two types of lactic acid bacteria, Lactiplantibacillus plantarum and Levilactobacillus brevis, are the main species involved in lactic acid fermentation during the tea fermentation process. Therefore, the D-amino acid-producing abilities of strains of these two species isolated from Ishizuchi-kurocha were examined. Specifically, the production of D-aspartic acid, D-alanine, and D-glutamic acid by L. brevis and L. plantarum strains was observed. The amount of D-aspartic acid produced by L. plantarum was low. D-glutamine was detected in culture supernatant but not in bacterial cells. D-arginine was detected in bacterial cells of the L. plantarum strains but not in the culture supernatant. Both the L. brevis and L. plantarum strains possessed at least three kinds of putative racemase genes: alanine racemase, glutamate racemase, and aspartate racemase. However, their expression and enzyme activity remain unknown. L. plantarum and L. brevis could play an important role in the production of D-amino acids in Ishizuchi-kurocha. In fact, Ishizuchi-kurocha is expected to possess the effective physiological activities of D-amino acids.