Ethyl pyruvate attenuates murine allergic rhinitis partly by decreasing high mobility group box 1 release

Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2015 Nov;240(11):1490-9. doi: 10.1177/1535370214566563. Epub 2015 Feb 13.


High-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) protein, a pro-inflammatory DNA-binding protein, meditates inflammatory responses through Toll-like receptor-4 signals and amplifies allergic inflammation by interacting with the receptor for advanced glycation end products. Previous studies have shown that HMGB1 is elevated in the nasal lavage fluids (NLF) of children suffering from allergic rhinitis (AR) and is associated with the severity of this disease. Furthermore, HMGB1 has been implicated in the pathogenesis of lower airway allergic diseases, such as asthma. Ethyl pyruvate (EP) has proven to be an effective anti-inflammatory agent for numerous airway diseases. Moreover, EP can inhibit the secretion of HMGB1. However, few studies have examined the effect of EP on AR. We hypothesized that HMGB1 plays an important role in the pathogenesis of AR and studied it using an AR mouse model. Forty BALB/c mice were divided into four groups: the control group, AR group, 50 mg/kg EP group, and 100 mg/kg EP group. The mice in the AR and EP administration groups received ovalbumin (OVA) sensitization and challenge, whereas those in the control group were given sterile saline instead of OVA. The mice in the EP administration group were given an intraperitoneal injection of EP 30 min before each OVA treatment. The number of nasal rubbings and sneezes of each mouse was counted after final treatment. Hematoxylin-eosin staining, AB-PAS staining, interleukin-4 and 13 in NLF, IgE, and the protein expression of HMGB1 were measured. Various features of the allergic inflammation after OVA exposure, including airway eosinophilia, Th-2 cytokine production, total IgE, and goblet cell hyperplasia were significantly inhibited by treatment with EP and the expression and release of HMGB1 were reduced after EP administration in a dose-dependent manner. These results indicate that HMGB1 is a potential therapeutic target of AR and that EP attenuates AR by decreasing HMGB1 expression.

Keywords: IgE; Mouse model; allergic rhinitis; ethyl pyruvate; high mobility group box 1.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / chemistry
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • HMGB1 Protein / metabolism*
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Inflammation
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Ovalbumin / chemistry
  • Pyruvates / chemistry*
  • Rhinitis, Allergic / drug therapy*
  • Rhinitis, Allergic / pathology
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4 / metabolism
  • Up-Regulation


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Cytokines
  • HMGB1 Protein
  • HMGB1 protein, mouse
  • Pyruvates
  • Tlr4 protein, mouse
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4
  • ethyl pyruvate
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Ovalbumin