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Nutrition. 2017 Oct;42:20-22. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2017.05.012. Epub 2017 May 31.

HMGB1 values and response to HBV vaccine in children with celiac disease.

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Department of Pediatrics, Unit of Pediatric Genetics and Immunology, University of Messina, Messina, Italy.
Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Catania, Catania, Italy.
Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Catania, Catania, Italy. Electronic address:



In addition to its wide clinical variability, celiac disease (CD) can also cause a lower response to the hepatitis B virus (HBV) than healthy individuals. The aim of this study was to examine high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) as a new potential marker of an inadequate response to HBV vaccine in children with CD at diagnosis before starting a gluten-free diet.


We recruited 49 children with CD who were tested at admission for immunization against HBV. Serum HMGB1 levels were measured by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay test.


Serum HMGB1 levels were significantly higher in nonresponders than in responders (P < 0.05). In the responders group in particular, with reference to the titer of vaccine response, we found a significantly higher serum HMGB1 level in the low responders (P < 0.001). We detected statistically significant higher values of HMGB1 in the typical form of disease presentation than in the atypical or silent form (P < 0.05). In the typical form, we showed even significantly higher HMGB1 values in low responders than in high responders (P < 0.001). With regard to the HLA haplotype and serum HMGB1 levels, any statistically significant difference was detected (P > 0.05).


In patients with CD, HMGB1 could represent a new marker that is able to reflect the immune impairment that results in failure of the HBV vaccination.


Celiac disease; Children; HMGB1; Hepatitis B vaccine

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