MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short RNA molecules 19 to 25 nucleotides in size that regulate post-transcriptional silencing of target genes. A single miRNA can target hundreds of mRNAs and influence the expression of many genes often involved in a functional interacting pathway. MiRNAs has been shown to be involved in the pathogenesis of many allergic diseases including asthma, eosinophilic esophagitis, allergic rhinitis and eczema. MiRNA can be isolated from cells, tissues and body fluids such as serum, plasma, tears or urine. MiRNA expression can be detected in both tissue samples as well as in cell-free biological fluids such as serum or plasma. Current methodologies used for detecting miRNAs include quantitative PCR (qPCR), in-situ hybridization, microarrays and RNA-sequencing. MicroRNAs mediate post-transcriptional gene silencing of target genes by targeting the 3′ untranslated region of mRNA, with the seed region in nucleotide in the 5′end of miRNA being the crucial sequence. MiRNAs have been shown to regulate multiple allergic diseases and represent an exciting area of research. Several miRNAs have been showed to target key pathogenic pathways involved in allergic inflammation and have the potential to be developed into novel therapeutic targets. The methods reviewed above will aid researchers who are beginning to explore the field of miRNA in allergic inflammation, and help to avoid potential pitfalls involved in miRNA research.


1.Lu TX, Rothenberg ME. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2018;141(4):1202–1207.