Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)

High-mobility group box 1: a novel target for treatment of Pseudomonas aeruginosa keratitis.

PMID 25589066


High-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1), a prototypic alarmin, mediates the systemic inflammatory response syndrome. Treatment with vasoactive intestinal peptide, an anti-inflammatory neuropeptide, downregulates proinflammatory cytokines and promotes healing in a susceptible (cornea perforates) model of Pseudomonas aeruginosa keratitis, and also significantly downregulates HMGB1 expression. Therefore, we examined targeting HMGB1 for the treatment of P. aeruginosa keratitis to avoid delivery and other issues associated with vasoactive intestinal peptide. For this, HMGB1 was silenced using small interfering RNA, whereas controls were treated with a nonspecific scrambled sequence small interfering RNA. Less disease was seen postinfection in siHMGB1 compared with control mice and was documented by clinical score and photographs with a slit lamp. Real-time RT-PCR and ELISA confirmed HMGB1 knockdown. RT-PCR analysis also revealed reduced mRNA levels of IL-1β, MIP-2, TNF-α, TLR4, and receptor for advanced glycation end products, whereas mRNA levels of anti-inflammatory TLRs single Ig IL-1-related receptor and ST2 were increased significantly. HMGB1 knockdown also decreased IL-1β and MIP-2 proteins, reducing polymorphonuclear cell number in the infected cornea. mRNA and protein levels of CXCL12 and CXCR4, as well as mononuclear cells, were reduced significantly after HMGB1 knockdown. Ab neutralization of HMGB1, infection with a clinical isolate, and recombinant HMGB1 treatment of resistant mice supported the silencing studies. These data provide evidence that silencing HMGB1 promotes better resolution of P. aeruginosa keratitis by decreasing levels of proinflammatory mediators (decreasing polymorphonuclear cell infiltration), increasing anti-inflammatory TLRs, reducing CXCL12 (preventing HMGB1/CXCL12 heterodimer formation), and signaling through CXCR4, reducing monocyte/macrophage infiltration.