Targeting HMGB1 in the treatment of sepsis

Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2014 Mar;18(3):257-68. doi: 10.1517/14728222.2014.863876. Epub 2014 Jan 6.


Introduction: Sepsis refers to the host's deleterious and non-resolving systemic inflammatory response to microbial infections and represents the leading cause of death in the intensive care unit. The pathogenesis of sepsis is complex, but partly mediated by a newly identified alarmin molecule, the high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1).

Areas covered: Here we review the evidence that support extracellular HMGB1 as a late mediator of experimental sepsis with a wider therapeutic window and discuss the therapeutic potential of HMGB1-neutralizing antibodies and small molecule inhibitors (herbal components) in experimental sepsis.

Expert opinion: It will be important to evaluate the efficacy of HMGB1-targeting strategies for the clinical management of human sepsis in the future.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antibodies / therapeutic use
  • HMGB1 Protein / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • HMGB1 Protein / immunology
  • Humans
  • Phytotherapy
  • Sepsis / drug therapy*
  • Sepsis / immunology


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antibodies
  • HMGB1 Protein