Maryam G. Oloriegbe


Introduction: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a condition characterised by chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, a dysfunctional immune system and dysbiosis. Very little research explains the mechanisms underpinning the pathogenesis of IBD, but many studies have looked at the role of microRNAs and their impact on the epithelial barrier in which they increase intestinal permeability leading to an increase in inflammatory development in the barrier. The aim is to investigate the role of microRNAs on proteins that make up the tight junctions of the epithelial barrier.

Methods: This literature review will examine a range of review and primary studies and summarise how the microRNAs contribute to the degradation of the occludin protein, damaging of the epithelial gut barrier and the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease.

Results: The author expects to have a thorough understanding of the effect of microRNA on occludin and how their relationship leads to the pathogenesis of IBD.

Discussion: Different primary studies examined different types of microRNAs and tested their effect on the occludin protein in the epithelial barrier, many of which caused its degradation and resulted in intestinal permeability.

Conclusion: Intestinal permeability can potentially lead to intestinal inflammation and the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease. Future research can examine how microRNAs can affect other aspects of the intestine such as the microbiome and also look into potential therapeutic agents that can alleviate the symptoms or cure inflammatory bowel disease.

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