Therapeutic potential of an anti-high mobility group box-1 monoclonal antibody in epilepsy

Junli Zhao, Yi Wang, Cenglin Xu, Keyue Liu, Ying Wang, Liying Chen, Xiaohua Wu, Feng Gao, Yi Guo, Junming Zhu, Shuang Wang, Masahiro Nishibori, Zhong Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)


Brain inflammation is a major factor in epilepsy, and the high mobility group box-1 (HMGB1) protein is known to contribute significantly to the generation of seizures. Here, we investigated the therapeutic potential of an anti-HMGB1 monoclonal antibody (mAb) in epilepsy. anti-HMGB1 mAb attenuated both acute seizure models (maximal electroshock seizure, pentylenetetrazole-induced and kindling-induced), and chronic epilepsy model (kainic acid-induced) in a dose-dependent manner. Meanwhile, the anti-HMGB1 mAb also attenuated seizure activities of human brain slices obtained from surgical resection from drug-resistant epilepsy patients. The mAb showed an anti-seizure effect with a long-term manner and appeared to be minimal side effects at even very high dose (no disrupted physical EEG rhythm and no impaired basic physical functions, such as body growth rate and thermoregulation). This anti-seizure effect of mAb results from its inhibition of translocated HMGB1 from nuclei following seizures, and the anti-seizure effect was absent in toll-like receptor 4 knockout (TLR4−/−) mice. Interestingly, the anti-HMGB1 mAb also showed a disease-modifying anti-epileptogenetic effect on epileptogenesis after status epileptics, which is indicated by reducing seizure frequency and improving the impaired cognitive function. These results indicate that the anti-HMGB1 mAb should be viewed as a very promising approach for the development of novel therapies to treat refractory epilepsy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-319
Number of pages12
JournalBrain, Behavior, and Immunity
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Epilepsy
  • HMGB1
  • Monoclonal antibody

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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