High mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) protein in Multiple Sclerosis (MS): Mechanisms and therapeutic potential

Life Sci. 2019 Dec 1;238:116924. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2019.116924. Epub 2019 Oct 10.


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune chronic inflammatory disease with distinctive features of focal demyelination, axonal loss, activation of glial cells, and immune cells infiltration. The precise molecular mechanism underlying the disease progression remains enigmatic despite of the rapid progression on experimental and clinical MS research. The focus of MS therapy relies on the repression of the pathogenic autoimmune response without compromising an adaptive immune response. High mobility group box-1 (HMGB1) protein is a ubiquitous nuclear protein driving pro-inflammatory responses as well as targeting innate immune signaling that initiates and mediates autoimmunity as well as sterile injury. A considerable amount of experimental and human studies suggests the contribution of HMGB1 in the pathogenesis of MS/experimental autoimmune encephalitis (EAE). In this regard, HMGB1 protein has gained increased attention, as an emerging possible therapeutic target against MS. This is more strengthened by the promising therapeutic outcome demonstrated by HMGB1 neutralizing agents in the experimental EAE model. Herein, we attempt to shed more light on the molecular crosstalk of HMGB1 protein in the pathogenesis of MS/EAE suggesting that HMGB1 blockade could impede the pro-inflammatory loop that drives MS autoimmunity.

Keywords: Demyelination; Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis; HMGB1; Inflammation; Multiple sclerosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • HMGB1 Protein / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Humans
  • Multiple Sclerosis / drug therapy*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / metabolism
  • Multiple Sclerosis / pathology


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • HMGB1 Protein