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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 publication




Journal article


Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis

Publication Date





2693 - 2704


CXCR4, Cardiac fibroblasts, Cardiac remodeling, Myocardial infarction, Oxidation, Cell Movement, Chemokine CXCL12, Female, Fibroblasts, HMGB1 Protein, Humans, Male, Myocardial Infarction, Myocardium, Oxidation-Reduction, Receptors, CXCR4