Convergence and amplification of toll-like receptor (TLR) and receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) signaling pathways via high mobility group B1 (HMGB1)

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Sustained proinflammatory responses in rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis, and diabetic retinopathy, as well as in cancer, are often associated with increased angiogenesis that contributes to tissue disruption and disease progression. High mobility group B1 (HMGB1) has been recognized as a proinflammatory cytokine and more recently, as a proangiogenic factor. HMGB1 can either be passively released from necrotic cells or actively secreted in response to angiogenic and inflammatory signals. HMGB1 itself may signal through the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE), and via toll-like receptors, TLR2 and TLR4. Activation of these receptors results in the activation of NFkappaB, which induces the upregulation of leukocyte adhesion molecules and the production of proinflammatory cytokines and angiogenic factors in both hematopoietic and endothelial cells, thereby promoting inflammation. Interestingly, HMGB1 seems to be involved in a positive feedback mechanism, that may help to sustain inflammation and angiogenesis in several pathological conditions, thereby contributing to disease progression. Endothelial cells express HMGB1, as well as the receptors RAGE, TLR2, and TLR4, and in diverse pathologies HMGB1 and its receptors are overexpressed. Furthermore, HMGB1-induced signaling can activate NFkappaB, which can subsequently induce the expression of HMGB1 receptors. Thus, HMGB1 can mediate amplification of inflammation and angiogenesis through increased secretion of HMGB1 and increased expression of the receptors it can interact with. In this review, we discuss signaling cascades that HMGB1 can induce via TLRs and RAGE, as well as its contribution to pathologies involving endothelial cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-9
Number of pages9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Animals
  • Glycation End Products, Advanced/metabolism
  • HMGB1 Protein/physiology
  • Humans
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic/metabolism
  • Receptor for Advanced Glycation End Products
  • Receptors, Immunologic/physiology
  • Signal Transduction/physiology
  • Toll-Like Receptors/physiology

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