Send to

Choose Destination
Allergy Asthma Proc. 2017 May 1;38(3):197-203. doi: 10.2500/aap.2017.38.4047.

High mobility group box 1: Biomarker of inhaled corticosteroid treatment response in children with moderate-severe asthma.



High mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) is abnormally expressed in serum and sputum of patients with allergic asthma.


The aim of this study was to investigate the role of HMGB1 as guidance for treatment management of children with asthma.


Thirty children with asthma and 44 healthy children were enrolled. The patients were classified according to Global Initiative for Asthma Guideline disease severity criteria. Sputum HMGB1 levels and lung function index (percentage forced expiratory volume in 1 second [FEV1%]) were recorded in the cohort study at baseline (T0) and after 3 (T3) and 6 (T6) months of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) treatment.


Sputum HMGB1 levels were significantly higher in all the patients with asthma (p < 0.001). An inverse correlation between sputum HMGB1 levels and pulmonary function parameters was observed only in the children with moderate asthma (T0: FEV1%, r = -0.9891, p < 0.001; T3: FEV1%, r = -0.6763, p < 0.001; T6: FEV1%, r = -0.5419, p < 0.05) and in the children with severe asthma (T0: FEV1%, r = -0.8696, p < 0.001; T3: FEV1%, r = -0.6477, p < 0.05; T6: FEV1%, r = -0.8627, p < 0.001). After ICS treatment, a significant decrease of sputum HMGB1 levels was noted in moderate (T0 [93.44 ± 20.65 ng/mL] versus T3 [77.96 ± 1.81 ng/mL] versus T6 [67.75 ± 3.01 ng/mL]; p < 0.0001) and in the children with severe asthma (T0 [130.3 ± 7.48 ng/mL] versus T3 [156.9 ± 1.09 ng/mL] versus T6 [116.08 ± 4.77 ng/mL]; p < 0.0001) data are mean ± standard deviation, respectively. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve, performed to define the diagnostic profile of sputum HMGB1 levels in identifying the children with asthma, was 0.713.


In addition to the findings that HMGB1 is a sensitive biomarker of allergic asthma in children, our data demonstrated a significant correlation between the decrease of HMGB1 levels and a successful treatment response.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Ingenta plc
Loading ...
Support Center