The role of high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) in neurodegeneration: A systematic review

Fathimath Zaha Ikram, Alina Arulsamy, Thaarvena Retinasamy, Mohd. Farooq Shaikh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: High mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) protein is a damage-associated molecular pattern (DAMP) that plays an important role in the repair and regeneration of tissue injury. It also acts as a pro-inflammatory cytokine through the activation of toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) and receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE), to elicit the neuroinflammatory response. HMGB1 may aggravate several cellular responses, which may lead to pathological inflammation and cellular death. Thus, there have been a considerable amount of research into the pathological role of HMGB1 in diseases. However, whether the mechanism of action of HMGB1 is similar in all neurodegenerative disease pathology remains to be determined. OBJECTIVE: Therefore, this systematic review aimed to critically evaluate and elucidate the role of HMGB1 in the pathology of neurodegeneration based on the available literature. METHODS: A comprehensive literature search was performed on four databases; EMBASE, PubMed, Scopus, and CINAHL Plus. RESULTS: A total of 85 articles were selected for critical appraisal, after subjecting to the inclusion and exclusion criteria in this study. The selected articles revealed that HMGB1 levels were found elevated in most neurodegeneration except in Huntington's disease and Spinocerebellar ataxia, where the levels were found decreased. This review also showcased that HMGB1 may act on distinctive pathways to elicit its pathological response leading to the various neurodegeneration processes/ diseases. CONCLUSION: While there have been promising findings in HMGB1 intervention research, further studies may still be required before any HMGB1 intervention may be recommended as a therapeutic target for neurodegenerative diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2221-2245
Number of pages25
JournalCurrent Neuropharmacology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • externally induced neurodegeneration
  • high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1)
  • Neurodegenerative disease
  • nuclear factor-κB (NFκB) pathway
  • therapeutic strategies
  • TNF-α

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