Non-oxidizable HMGB1 induces cardiac fibroblasts migration via CXCR4 in a CXCL12-independent manner and worsens tissue remodeling after myocardial infarction

Stefania Di Maggio, Giuseppina Milano, Francesco De Marchis, Alessandro D'Ambrosio, Matteo Bertolotti, Blanca Soler Palacios, Ileana Badi, Elena Sommariva, Giulio Pompilio, Maurizio C. Capogrossi, Angela Raucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Myocardial infarction (MI) is a major health burden worldwide. Extracellular High mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) regulates tissue healing after injuries. The reduced form of HMGB1 (fr-HMGB1) exerts chemotactic activity by binding CXCL12 through CXCR4, while the disulfide form, (ds-HMGB1), induces cytokines expression by TLR4. Here, we assessed the role of HMGB1 redox forms and the non-oxidizable mutant (3S) on human cardiac fibroblast (hcFbs) functions and cardiac remodeling after infarction. Among HMGB1 receptors, hcFbs express CXCR4. Fr-HMGB1 and 3S, but not ds-HMGB1, promote hcFbs migration through Src activation, while none of HMGB1 redox forms induces proliferation or inflammatory mediators. 3S is more effective than fr-HMGB1 in stimulating hcFbs migration and Src phosphorylation being active at lower concentrations and in oxidizing conditions. Notably, chemotaxis toward both proteins is CXCR4-dependent but, in contrast to fr-HMGB1, 3S does not require CXCL12 since hcFbs migration persists in the presence of the CXCL12/CXCR4 inhibitor AMD3100 or an anti-CXCL12 antibody. Interestingly, 3S interacts with CXCR4 and induces a different receptor conformation than CXCL12. Mice undergoing MI and receiving 3S exhibit adverse LV remodeling owing to an excessive collagen deposition promoted by a higher number of myofibroblasts. On the contrary, fr-HMGB1 ameliorates cardiac performance enhancing neoangiogenesis and reducing the infarcted area and fibrosis. Altogether, our results demonstrate that non-oxidizable HMGB1 induce a sustained cardiac fibroblasts migration despite the redox state of the environment and by altering CXCL12/CXCR4 axis. This affects proper cardiac remodeling after an infarction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2693-2704
Number of pages12
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2017


  • Cardiac fibroblasts
  • Cardiac remodeling
  • CXCR4
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Oxidation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Non-oxidizable HMGB1 induces cardiac fibroblasts migration via CXCR4 in a CXCL12-independent manner and worsens tissue remodeling after myocardial infarction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this