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Crit Care. 2013 Dec 16;17(6):R296. doi: 10.1186/cc13162.

High-mobility group box 1 and the receptor for advanced glycation end products contribute to lung injury during Staphylococcus aureus pneumonia.



Staphylococcus (S.) aureus has emerged as an important cause of necrotizing pneumonia. Lung injury during S. aureus pneumonia may be enhanced by local release of damage associated molecular patterns such as high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1). In the current study we sought to determine the functional role of HMGB1 and its receptors, toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) and the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE), in the injurious host response to S. aureus pneumonia.


Pneumonia was induced in wild type (Wt), TLR4 deficient (tlr4-/-) and RAGE deficient (rage-/-) mice by intranasal inoculation of 1 × 107 colony-forming units (CFU) of a USA300 S. aureus. In a separate set of experiments, Wt mice were injected intraperitoneally with a monoclonal anti-HMGB1 antibody or an isotype matched control antibody immediately before and every 24 hours after intranasal infection of S. aureus. Mice were sacrificed at 6, 24, 48 or 72 hours after infection for harvesting of blood and organs.


S. aureus pneumonia was associated with HMGB1 release in the bronchoalveolar compartment peaking after 24 hours. Anti-HMGB1 attenuated lung pathology and protein leak and reduced interleukin-1β release 6 hours after infection, but not at later time points. RAGE deficiency more modestly attenuated lung pathology without influencing protein leak, while TLR4 deficiency did not impact on lung injury.


These data suggest that HMGB1 and RAGE, but not TLR4, contribute to lung injury accompanying the early phase of S. aureus pneumonia.

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