Role of HMGB1 in the Interplay between NETosis and Thrombosis in Ischemic Stroke: A Review

Cells. 2020 Jul 28;9(8):1794. doi: 10.3390/cells9081794.


Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) comprise decondensed chromatin, histones and neutrophil granular proteins and are involved in the response to infectious as well as non-infectious diseases. The prothrombotic activity of NETs has been reported in various thrombus-related diseases; this activity can be attributed to the fact that the NETs serve as a scaffold for cells and numerous coagulation factors and stimulate fibrin deposition. A crosstalk between NETs and thrombosis has been indicated to play a role in numerous thrombosis-related conditions including stroke. In cerebral ischemia, neutrophils are the first group of cells to infiltrate the damaged brain tissue, where they produce NETs in the brain parenchyma and within blood vessels, thereby aggravating inflammation. Increasing evidences suggest the connection between NETosis and thrombosis as a possible cause of "tPA resistance", a problem encountered during the treatment of stroke patients. Several damage-associated molecular pattern molecules have been proven to induce NETosis and thrombosis, with high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) playing a critical role. This review discusses NETosis and thrombosis and their crosstalk in various thrombosis-related diseases, focusing on the role of HMGB1 as a mediator in stroke. We also addresses the function of peptidylarginine deiminase 4 with respect to the interplay with HMGB1 in NET-induced thrombosis.

Keywords: DAMP; HMGB1; NETosis; neutrophils; platelets; stroke; thrombosis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Extracellular Traps / metabolism*
  • HMGB1 Protein / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Ischemic Stroke / physiopathology*
  • Thrombosis / blood*


  • HMGB1 Protein