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MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that mediate mRNA degradation or translation repression. Previous study showed that the expression of miRNAs was significantly changed in the body wall of sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus after skin ulceration syndrome (SUS) infection, which is a dynamic process. However, the critical miRNAs from body wall that involved in different infection stages of SUS remain unknown. In this study, four cDNA libraries were constructed with the body wall from healthy and three SUS-infected stages of A. japonicus. A total of 248 conserved miRNAs and five novel miRNAs were identified through Illumina HiSeq 2000 platform. Compared to the control, 238 miRNAs showed significant differential expression at three stages of SUS progression. Totally, 3149 miRNA-mRNA pairs were identified by target prediction and 314 miRNA-mRNA pairs showed negative correlation. It is noteworthy that 15 miRNAs and four mRNAs were located at the crucial positions of the network built with the anti-correlated miRNA-mRNA pairs. GO and KEGG enrichment analysis indicated that the predicted targets were involved in many immune-related processes. Deep analysis of miR-31c-5p, miR-29b-3p, NF-kB, mucin 2 and titin showed that they may play important roles in the pathogens attachment and recognition, signaling transduction and lesions repair of A. japonicus after SUS infection. These results would be useful for further investigating the potential roles of critical miRNAs and mRNAs in A. japonicus immune regulation.. total of 248 conserved miRNAs and 238 differentially expressed miRNAs were identified from Apostichopus japonicus.By target prediction, 3149 miRNA-mRNA pairs including 2131 mRNAs and 229 miRNAs were obtained.A network was built with 314 miRNA-mRNA pairs which presented negative correlation.Analyses about miR-31c-5p, miR-29b-3p, NF-κB, mucin 2 and titin showed their immune functions in A. japonicus.