MicroRNAs (miRNAs), a class of small, non-coding RNA molecules with gene regulatory functions, have emerged to play a critical role in the pathogenesis of a variety of diseases. Current technological advances allow accurate, high throughput profiling of miRNA abundance in different tissues. More recently, extracellular, circulating miRNAs have begun to be demonstrated as highly stable, blood-based biomarkers for diseases. Understanding the interactions between circulating miRNAs and clinical phenotypes can enhance our knowledge of complex diseases and traits. On the other hand, given the advantages of utilizing blood-based biomarkers (e.g., convenience in collecting samples), circulating miRNAs as biomarkers may improve both disease diagnosis and management. Particularly, we reviewed recent progress in identifying circulating miRNAs as biomarkers for several common inflammatory diseases including asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. Current studies showed a promising future of using circulating miRNAs in the care of inflammatory diseases.
Keywords: Asthma, biomarkers, circulating markers, inflammatory bowl disease, microRNA, rheumatoid arthritis.