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Stroke. 2011 May;42(5):1420-8. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.110.598334. Epub 2011 Apr 7.

Anti-high mobility group box-1 monoclonal antibody protects the blood-brain barrier from ischemia-induced disruption in rats.

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Department of Pharmacology, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmacological Sciences, Okayama 700-8558, Japan.



High mobility group box-1 (HMGB1) exhibits inflammatory cytokine-like activity in the extracellular space. We previously demonstrated that intravenous injection of anti-HMGB1 monoclonal antibody (mAb) remarkably ameliorated brain infarction induced by middle cerebral artery occlusion in rats. In the present study, we focused on the protective effects of the mAb on the marked translocation of HMGB1 in the brain, the disruption of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), and the resultant brain edema.


Middle cerebral artery occlusion in the rat was used as the ischemia model. Rats were treated with anti-HMGB1 mAb or control IgG intravenously. BBB permeability was measured by MRI. Ultrastructure of the BBB unit was observed by transmission electron microscope. The in vitro BBB system was used to study the direct effects of HMGB1 in BBB components.


HMGB1 was time-dependently translocated and released from neurons in the ischemic rat brain. The mAb reduced the edematous area on T2-weighted MRI. Transmission electron microscope observation revealed that the mAb strongly inhibited astrocyte end feet swelling, the end feet detachment from the basement membrane, and the opening of the tight junction between endothelial cells. In the in vitro reconstituted BBB system, recombinant HMGB1 increased the permeability of the BBB with morphological changes in endothelial cells and pericytes, which were inhibited by the mAb. Moreover, the anti-HMGB1 mAb facilitated the clearance of serum HMGB1.


These results indicated that the anti-HMGB1 mAb could be an effective therapy for brain ischemia by inhibiting the development of brain edema through the protection of the BBB and the efficient clearance of circulating HMGB1.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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