Understanding the function of individual microRNA (miRNA) species in mice would require the production of hundreds of loss-of-function strains. To accelerate analysis of miRNA biology in mammals, we combined recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) vectors with miRNA 'tough decoys' (TuDs) to inhibit specific miRNAs. Intravenous injection of rAAV9 expressing anti-miR-122 or anti-let-7 TuDs depleted the corresponding miRNA and increased its mRNA targets. rAAV producing anti-miR-122 TuD but not anti-let-7 TuD reduced serum cholesterol by >30% for 25 weeks in wild-type mice. High-throughput sequencing of liver miRNAs from the treated mice confirmed that the targeted miRNAs were depleted and revealed that TuDs induced miRNA tailing and trimming in vivo. rAAV-mediated miRNA inhibition thus provides a simple way to study miRNA function in adult mammals and a potential therapy for dyslipidemia and other diseases caused by miRNA deregulation.