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J Surg Res. 2005 Mar;124(1):59-66.

The role of HMGB-1 on the development of necrosis during hepatic ischemia and hepatic ischemia/reperfusion injury in mice.

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  • 1Department of General Surgery, St. Marianna University School of Medicine, Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan. taiji_watanabe@marianna-u.ac.jp



High-mobility group 1 (HMGB-1) is a late mediator of endotoxin lethality in mice. The release of HMGB-1 is delayed compared to other proinflammatory cytokines that mediate shock and tissue injury. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of HMGB-1 levels in response to hepatic ischemia, hepatic I/R injury, and the relationship between changes in HMGB-1 and other cytokines.


Three murine models were employed: our robust model of segmental hepatic warm ischemia (SHWI), a model of partial hepatic ischemia/reperfusion injury (PHIRI), and a model of total hepatic ischemia/reperfusion injury (THIRI). Over a 48-h period following ischemic insult and reperfusion using these models, serum HMGB-1 concentrations, concentrations of HMGB-1 in ischemic and nonischemic lobes, and serum concentrations of TNF-alpha and IL-6 levels were determined in mice. An anti-HMGB-1 antibody treatment was used in SHWI and THIRI to evaluate what aspects of response to ischemia and reperfusion were potentially mediated by HMGB-1.


Hepatic HMGB-1 tissue concentrations exhibited biphasic changes in SHWI mice, which were increased in the ischemic lobes relative to nonischemic lobes at 12 h but decreased relative to nonischemic lobes at 24 h after ischemic insult. These results suggested that HMGB-1 was released into the systemic circulation by necrotic cells over the first 12 h but this process may be complete by 24 h postischemia. By 6 to 12 h after SHWI, serum TNF-alpha began to increase significantly and continued to increase for 18 h, followed by a sudden decline. Similarly, serum IL-6 increased over 1-3 h after SHWI and then decreased over the next 6 h. Treatment with an anti-HMGB-1 antibody significantly prolonged survival time in SHWI and THIRI.


HMGB-1 plays a significant role in the response to hepatic ischemia and hepatic ischemia/reperfusion injury. The present study demonstrated a time-dependent production of HMGB-1 following hepatic warm ischemia in mice. The inherent HMGB-1 in ischemic areas was exhausted and HMGB-1 may be released by necrotic cells. HMGB-1 activation is involved in immediate proinflammatory stress response to I/R and anti-HMGB-1 antibody treatment remarkably improved survival. We demonstrated that systemic HMGB-1 accumulation was measured at an earlier phase of the hepatic ischemia and ischemia/reperfusion injury model than LPS-induced endotoxemia.

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