High mobility group box 1 protein, a cue for stem cell recruitment

Biochem Pharmacol. 2004 Sep 15;68(6):1165-70. doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2004.03.048.


High mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) is a non-histone protein required to maintain chromatin architecture. Recent observations demonstrated that HMGB1 can also act as a cytokine to regulate different biological processes such as inflammation, cell migration and metastasis. We showed previously that HMGB1 can be released passively by cells that die in a traumatic and unprogrammed way, and can serve a signal of tissue damage. More recently, we showed that HMGB1 can recruit stem cells: HMGB1 induces stem cell transmigration through an endothelial barrier; moreover, when beads containing HMGB1 are implanted into healthy muscle, they recruit stem cells injected into the general circulation. The inflammatory and tissue-regenerating roles of HMGB1 may be strictly interconnected, and are discussed here.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Cues*
  • Cytokines / physiology
  • Forecasting
  • HMGB1 Protein / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Stem Cells / physiology


  • Cytokines
  • HMGB1 Protein
  • Inflammation Mediators