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Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2006 Apr;6(2):130-5. Epub 2006 Feb 17.

Role of HMGB1 in cardiovascular diseases.

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Department of Emergency Medicine, North Shore University Hospital, New York University School of Medicine, 350 Community Drive, Manhasset, NY 11030, USA.


A nuclear protein, high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1), is released passively by necrotic cells, and actively by macrophages/monocytes in response to exogenous and endogenous inflammatory stimuli. After binding to the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) or toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), HMGB1 activates vascular endothelial cells and macrophages/monocytes to express proinflammatory cytokines, chemokines and adhesion molecules. Pharmacological suppression of its activities or release is protective against lethal endotoxemia and sepsis, establishing HMGB1 as a critical mediator of lethal systemic inflammation. In light of the pathogenic role of inflammation in cardiovascular diseases, we propose that HMGB1, a proinflammatory cytokine derived from both injured endothelium and activated macrophages/monocytes, could contribute to the progression of atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases.

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