Acute lung injury (ALI) results from loss of alveolar-capillary barrier integrity and the evolution of high-permeability pulmonary edema resulting in alveolar flooding and significant morbidity and mortality. HMGB1 is a late mediator of sepsis which uniquely participates in the evolution of sepsis and sepsis-induced ALI. The molecular events by which HMGB1 contributes to ALI remain poorly characterized. We characterized the role of HMGB1 in endothelial cell (EC) cytoskeletal rearrangement and vascular permeability, events essential to paracellular gap formation and barrier dysfunction characteristic of ALI. Initial experiments demonstrated HMGB1-mediated dose-dependent (5-20 μg/ml) decreases in transendothelial cell electrical resistance (TER) in the human pulmonary artery EC, a reflection of loss of barrier integrity. Furthermore, HMGB1 produced dose-dependent increases in paracellular gap formation in concert with loss of peripheral organized actin fibers, dissociation of cell-cell junctional cadherins, and the development of central stress fibers, a phenotypic change associated with increased contractile activity and increased EC permeability. Using siRNA strategies directed against known HMGB1 receptors (RAGE, TLR2, TLR4), we systematically determined that the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) is the primary receptor signaling HMGB1-induced TER decreases and paracellular gap formation via p38 MAP kinase activation and phosphorylation of the actin-binding protein, Hsp27. These studies add to the understanding of HMGB1-induced inflammatory events and vascular barrier disruption and offer the potential for clinical intervention in sepsis-induced ALI.
- Acute lung injury
- MAP kinase
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Cell Biology