Oxidative stress elicits platelet/leukocyte inflammatory interactions via HMGB1: A Candidate for microvessel injury in sytemic sclerosis

Norma Maugeri, Patrizia Rovere-Querini, Mattia Baldini, Elena Baldissera, Maria Grazia Sabbadini, Marco E. Bianchi, Angelo A. Manfredi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims: An abnormal generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is thought to contribute to systemic sclerosis (SSc), fostering autoimmunity, fibrosis, and vascular inflammation. The function of the prototypic damage-associated molecular pattern, high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1), depends on its redox status. Here we investigate whether oxidative stress regulates the cross-talk between leukocytes and platelets via HMGB1, thus contributing to vessel inflammation in SSc. Results: The oxidation of HMGB1 amplified its ability to activate neutrophils, as detected assessing the redistribution of primary granule molecules and the transactivation of the β2 integrin chain CD18. Activated platelets are a source of bioactive HMGB1 and via P-selectin stimulated neutrophils to generate ROS. Oxidized extracellular HMGB1, soluble or associated to platelet membrane or to platelet-derived microparticles (PDμPs), further increased leukocyte activation. Leukocyte activation abated in the presence of inhibitors of HMGB1 or of catalase, which catalyzes the dismutation of hydrogen peroxide into water and molecular oxygen. The redistribution of the content of primary granules and the transactivation of β2 integrins characterized blood leukocytes of SSc patients and membrane HMGB1 was significantly higher in patients with pulmonary hypertension or with diffuse SSc. HMGB1+ microparticles (μPs) purified from SSc patients, but not HMGB1- μPs purified from control subjects, activated in vitro healthy neutrophils, and HMGB1 inhibitors reversed the effects of μPs. Innovation and Conclusion: ROS dramatically increase the ability of extracellular HMGB1 to activate blood leukocytes. This event might contribute to maintain the microvascular injury of patients with SSc. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 20, 1060-1074.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1060-1074
Number of pages15
JournalAntioxidants and Redox Signaling
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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