The emerging role of microRNAs in regulating immune and inflammatory responses in the lung

Immunol Rev. 2013 May;253(1):198-215. doi: 10.1111/imr.12058.


Chronic inflammatory diseases of the lung are leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Many of these disorders can be attributed to abnormal immune responses to environmental stimuli and infections. As such, understanding the innate host defense pathways and their regulatory systems will be critical to developing new approaches to treatment. In this regard, there is increasing interest in the role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in the regulation of pulmonary innate host defense responses and the inflammatory sequelae in respiratory disease. In this review, we discuss recent findings that indicate an important role for miRNAs in the regulation in mouse models of various respiratory diseases and in host defense against bacterial and viral infection. We also discuss the potential utility and limitations of targeting these molecules as anti-inflammatory strategies and also as a means to improve pathogen clearance from the lung.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / genetics
  • Immunity, Innate / immunology
  • Lung / immunology*
  • Mice
  • MicroRNAs / immunology*
  • MicroRNAs / therapeutic use
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy
  • Pneumonia / genetics
  • Pneumonia / immunology*
  • Pneumonia / therapy
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / genetics
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / immunology*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / therapy


  • MicroRNAs