Investigators narrow in on a microRNA for treating multiple sclerosis

Investigators narrow in on a microRNA for treating multiple sclerosis

Publication date: Nov 27, 2019

Investigators from Brigham and Women’s Hospital have discovered a microRNA-a small RNA molecule-that increases during peak disease in a mouse model of MS and in untreated MS patients.

When a synthetic version of the microRNA was orally given to the mice, it prevented disease.

“We’ve discovered a new mechanism to regulate the microbiome and treat human disease that hadn’t been known before,” said senior author Howard Weiner, MD, co-director of the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases at the Brigham.

“The gut microbiome is known to play an important role in MS and other diseases.

Our findings, which show that a microRNA can be used to target and influence the microbiome with precision, may have applicability for MS and many other diseases, including diabetes, ALS, obesity and cancer. “

Weiner, lead author Shirong Liu, MD, Ph. D., an instructor in the Weiner laboratory, and their colleagues investigated how the altered gut microbiome affects the course of MS. To do so, they studied the microbiome and microRNAs found in the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) model of MS. Unexpectedly, they found that when they transferred fecal matter from EAE mice at peak disease, it protected the mice who received the transfer.

The team found that a specific microRNA, known as miR-30d, rather than live bacteria, was responsible for preventing disease.

Concepts Keywords
ALS Organisms
Ann Romney Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis
Bacteria Branches of biology
Cancer MicroRNA
Diabetes Verrucomicrobia
Fair Dealing Gram-negative bacteria
Fecal Matter Akkermansia muciniphila
Mice Gene expression
Microbiome RNA
MicroRNA Anti inflammatory properties
MicroRNAs Important diseases
MRNA Multiple sclerosis
Multiple Sclerosis MS


Type Source Name
drug DRUGBANK Nonoxynol-9
disease MESH disease progression
disease MESH experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis
disease MESH cancer
disease MESH multiple sclerosis
disease MESH obesity


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