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: High-mobility group box (HMGB)-1 was recently identified as a lethal mediator of severe sepsis and represents a novel group of intracellular proteins that function as inflammatory cytokines when released into the extracellular milieu. From a clinical perspective, extracellular HMGB-1 can cause multiple organ failure and contribute to the pathogenesis of diverse disorders including sepsis, cardiovascular shock, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and cancer. HMGB-1 has been proven to be a successful therapeutic target in experimental models of diverse infectious and inflammatory diseases, and these findings have renewed the clinical interest of specific cytokine inhibitors. However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying the cytokine activity of HMGB-1 and its contribution to infection and inflammation. This article analyzes the value of HMGB-1 as a therapeutic target for the treatment of diverse infectious and inflammatory disorders and its interest for human clinical trials.

(C)2006The Shock Society