High-mobility-group box chromosomal protein 1 (HMGB1) has recently been identified as a late mediator of various kinds of acute and chronic inflammation. A method for efficiently removing HMGB1 from systemic circulation could be a promising therapy for HMGB1-mediated inflammatory diseases. It is well known that the cationic portion of HMGB1 binds to heparin, which has abundant sulfates in its structure. In this study, we determined whether spherical sulfated cellulose (SC) efficiently adsorbed HMGB1, as well as other inflammatory mediators, in vitro. Then, we investigated the efficacy of hemoperfusion with the SC (SC group) or cellulose beads (control group) at adsorbing endogenous mediators, including HMGB1, in vivo. We have demonstrated that the SC adsorbed significantly larger amounts of HMGB1, interleukin (IL)-4, and IL-8 when compared with cellulose beads, in vitro. Hemoperfusion with the SC for 30 minute, starting 2 hour after an abdominal opening and closure operation, significantly reduced serum HMGB1 levels (p = 0.004) and consistently increased serum IL-10 levels, in vivo. These data suggest the potential benefits of hemoperfusion using the SC in treating HMGB1-mediated inflammatory diseases.
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