The high mobility group box 1 protein (HMGB1) is recognized as a prototypical endogenous danger cytokine in sepsis. We previously reported that a polyacrylonitrile (AN69ST) membrane rapidly adsorbed HMGB1. Herein, an in vitro hemofiltration system was designed to assess the HMGB1 adsorption capacity, adsorption sites, and adsorption mechanism of the AN69ST membrane. HMGB1 was repeatedly added seven times during hemofiltration. A rapid decrease in circulating HMGB1 was observed after every addition with no sign of saturation. Presence of HMGB1 on the filter membrane was observed on both membrane surfaces and within the bulk layer using a high concentration of HMGB1 by immunoelectron microscopy. We hypothesized that the addition of heparin to the membrane surface or filtration rate would contribute to the adsorption mechanism. We could not measure the influence of heparin and filtration. Although the membrane was too large to saturate under the μg/mL HMGB1 conditions, our results show that the AN69ST membrane has a robust absorption capacity that could be used to treat sepsis.
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