Recently, we showed that imidazole dipeptide such as carnosine contained abundantly in chicken breast meat improves brain function in a double-blind randomized controlled trial. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms remain unknown. Here, we investigated whether carnosine activates intestinal epithelial cells and induces the secretion of factors that activate brain function. We focused on exosomes derived from intestinal epithelial cells as mediators of brain-gut interaction. Results showed that exosomes derived from Caco-2 cells treated with carnosine significantly induced neurite growth in SH-SY5Y cells. To clarify the molecular basis of this finding, we performed integrated analysis of microRNAs (miRNAs) with altered expression in exosomes in response to carnosine treatment and mRNAs with altered expression in target cells in response to exosome treatment to identify related miRNAs and their target genes. The combination of miR-6769-5p and its target gene ATXN1 was found to be involved in the exosome-induced activation of neuronal cells.
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