Experimental and therapeutic medicine

High mobility group box 1 release from cholangiocytes in patients with acute-on-chronic liver failure.

PMID 25187820


High mobility group box chromosomal protein 1 (HMGB1) is an important proinflammatory molecule in a number of inflammatory disorders, but little is known about its role in acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF). To elucidate the role of HMGB1 in ACLF, the expression of HMGB1 in liver specimens from patients with ACLF was investigated. Immunohistochemical staining was performed to confirm the expression and subcellular localization of HMGB1 in liver specimens obtained from 13 patients with ACLF caused by hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, 20 patients with chronic viral hepatitis B and 20 healthy controls. In addition, TFK-1 cells (human cholangiocarcinoma cell line) were stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α. The extracellular level of HMGB1 in the culture medium was then determined by ELISA, and cell viability was also examined. In patients with ACLF caused by HBV infection, HMGB1 was found mainly in the cholangiocytes, and cytoplasmic translocation was observed in the cholangiocytes in the liver specimens. In the TFK-1 cell cultures, HMGB1 levels gradually increased from as early as 4 h after stimulation with LPS or TNF-α until the end of the stimulation. LPS and TNF-α actively induced the cytoplasmic translocation of the HMGB1 protein in TFK-1 cells. These data suggest that HMGB1 plays a critical role in the systemic inflammation associated with ACLF.

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