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J Surg Res. 2013 Nov;185(1):319-28. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2013.05.062. Epub 2013 Jun 10.

Endogenous HMGB1 is required in endotoxin tolerance.

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  • 1Department of Burns, the 3rd Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, China.



High-mobility group box 1 protein (HMGB1), a downstream inflammatory response modifier in sepsis and endotoxemia, alters endotoxin tolerance by affecting cellular hyporesponsiveness and tumor necrosis factor α and interleukin 1 production.


Endogenous HMGB1 signaling mechanisms during low-dose lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced endotoxin tolerance were investigated.


BALB/c mice were preconditioned with either 0.1 mL low-dose LPS (0.2 mg/kg) or phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) (control) followed by treatment with three consecutive injections of anti-HMGB1, IgY (an nonspecific antibody), or PBS, at 2, 12, and 22 h, respectively, Mice were then subjected to 0.1 mL high-dose LPS (10 mg/kg) or PBS at 24 h. Serum and hepatic tissue samples were obtained 1 or 3 h after final treatments. Signaling mechanisms were further investigated in the serum and hepatic tissues of mice preconditioned with 0.1 mL HMGB1 (1 mg/kg), low-dose LPS (0.2 mg/kg), or PBS for 1 h, and then high-dose LPS treatment for 3 h.


The signaling mechanisms involved in low-dose LPS preconditioning required enhanced endogenous HMGB1 expression and secretion. Neutralizing endogenous HMGB1 with anti-HMGB1 antibodies following low-dose LPS preconditioning altered endotoxin tolerance by increasing serum tumor necrosis factor α, reducing hepatic interleukin-1R-associated kinase M expression, and partially restoring nuclear factor κB in vivo. The translocation from nucleus to cytoplasm of endogenous HMGB1 in RAW264.7 cells was also observed during low-dose LPS-induced endotoxin tolerance.


Increased interleukin-1R-associated kinase M and decreased nuclear factor κB activity in endotoxin tolerance is associated with endogenous HMGB1 expression after low-dose LPS preconditioning. These findings provide a basis for a better mechanistic understanding and the development of safer clinical therapeutics utilizing induced endotoxin tolerance.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


HMGB1 protein; IRAK-M; Immune tolerance; Inflammation; Lipopolysaccharide; Nuclear factor κB

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