Towards an Improved Suppression of Maladaptive Inflammation

Chronic inflammation remains an important contributing process in the development of age-related dysfunction and disease, one that is presently difficult to address. This unresolved inflammation is a direct consequence of a number of different causes of aging. They include mitochondrial dysfunction leading to mislocalization of mitochondrial DNA into the cytoplasm, where it triggers responses evolved to detect bacterial infection, as well as the now well-studied burden of senescent cells found in aged tissues and the pro-inflammatory secretions that these errant cells produce.

A great many research groups and development programs are aimed at suppression of excessive inflammation. Unfortunately, near all present approaches suppress both excessive and necessary inflammation, reducing harms, but at the cost of also impairing vital immune responses to infection and cancer. Approaches to date that definitively only reduce harmful chronic inflammation while preserving the response to infection and cancer include some stem cell therapies and the clearance of senescent cells via senolytic drugs, but these are not as widely used as they might be. The more established approaches to reducing inflammation involve the blockade of specific signal molecules such as TNF or interference in the response to those signals, but these signals and their responses are involved in essential as well as unwanted inflammation.

It is hoped that an improved understanding of the complex mechanisms that regulate the inflammatory response and its resolution will lead to ways to distinguish excessive inflammation from necessary inflammation, and thus interventions that only suppress the harmful, unwanted inflammation. To that end, one can find a great deal of research similar to that summarized in today's open access review paper, digging into the regulation of inflammation in search of novel targets for anti-inflammatory treatments.

MicroRNA-7: A New Intervention Target for Inflammation and Related Diseases

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small noncoding RNA that can regulate physiological and pathological processes through post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. As an important member of the miRNAs family, microRNA-7 (miR-7) was first discovered in 2001 to play an important regulatory role in tissue and organ development. Studies have shown that miR-7 participates in various tissue and organ development processes, tumorigenesis, aging, and other processes by regulating different target molecules. Notably, a series of recent studies have determined that miR-7 plays a key regulatory role in the occurrence of inflammation and related diseases. In particular, miR-7 can affect the immune response of the body by influencing T cell activation, macrophage function, dendritic cell (DC) maturation, inflammatory body activation, and other mechanisms, which has important potential application value in the intervention of related diseases.

Under normal circumstances, inflammation is a physiological defense response of the body to stimulation, involving a complex and fine-tuned regulatory process that is conducive to eliminating pathogens and promoting tissue repair. It is now known that the inflammatory process is closely related to the body's innate and adaptive immune responses, involving the activation and function of innate immune cells, such as macrophages and DCs, and adaptive immune cells, such as T cells and B cells. However, if the immune response process is abnormal, the continuous development of inflammation can lead to autoimmune or inflammatory diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, and even cancer. The inflammatory response involves innate and adaptive immune response processes mediated by immune cells with the participation of histiocytes and molecules. Therefore, the regulatory mechanisms involved in the development of inflammation and related diseases are very complex. The analysis of these mechanisms is of great significance for understanding the mechanisms of related diseases and clinical treatment.

This article reviews the current regulatory role of miR-7 in inflammation and related diseases, including viral infection, autoimmune hepatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and encephalitis. It expounds on the molecular mechanism by which miR-7 regulates the occurrence of inflammatory diseases. Finally, the existing problems and future development directions of miR-7-based intervention on inflammation and related diseases are discussed to provide new references and help strengthen the understanding of the pathogenesis of inflammation and related diseases, as well as the development of new strategies for clinical intervention.