Extracellular vesicle miRNAs promote the intestinal microenvironment by interacting with microbes in colitis

Gut Microbes. 2022 Jan-Dec;14(1):2128604. doi: 10.1080/19490976.2022.2128604.


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a global disease with no cure. Disruption of the microbial ecosystem is considered to be an important cause of IBD. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are vital participants in cell-cell and cell-organism communication. Both host-derived EVs and bacteria-derived membrane vesicles (OMVs) contribute to homeostasis in the intestine. However, the roles of EVs-miRNAs and MVs in host-microbe interactions in colitis remain unclear. In the present study, the animal model of colitis was established by dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) to investigate the changes of miRNAs in colonic EVs from colitis. Several miRNAs were significantly altered in colitis EVs. miR-181b-5p transplantation inhibited M1 macrophage polarization and promoted M2 polarization to reduce the levels of inflammation both in acute and remission of chronic colitis. miR-200b-3p could interact with bacteria and regulate the composition of the microbiota, which contributed to intestinal barrier integrity and homeostasis. Notably, MVs from normal feces could effectively reverse the composition of the intestinal microbiota, restore the intestinal barrier and rescue colitis, and BMVs from colitis would also have similar effects after miR-200b-3p treatment. Our results preliminarily identify a vesicle-based host-microbe interaction cycle in colitis and provide new ideas for colitis treatment.

Keywords: Extracellular vesicles; colitis; membrane vesicles; miRNA; microbiota.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Colitis* / chemically induced
  • Colitis* / microbiology
  • Dextran Sulfate
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Extracellular Vesicles*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases*
  • Intestines
  • MicroRNAs* / genetics
  • Microbiota*


  • MicroRNAs
  • Dextran Sulfate

Grants and funding

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China [21777146].