The nuclear protein high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) is an important inflammatory mediator involved in the pathogenesis of liver ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury. Strategies aimed at preventing its release from stressed or damaged cells may be beneficial in preventing inflammation after I/R. Cisplatin is a member of the platinating chemotherapeutic agents and can induce DNA lesions that are capable of retaining high mobility group proteins inside the nucleus of cells. In vitro studies in primary cultured rat hepatocytes show that nontoxic concentrations of cisplatin can sequester HMGB1 inside the nucleus of hypoxic cells. Similarly, the in vivo administration of nontoxic doses of cisplatin prevents liver damage associated with a well-established murine model of hepatic I/R as measured by lower circulating serum aminotransferase levels, lower hepatic inflammatory cytokine levels including tumor necrosis factor α and interleukin-6, lower inducible NO synthase expression, and fewer I/R-associated histopathologic changes. The mechanism of action in vivo appears to involve the capacity of cisplatin to prevent the I/R-induced release of HMGB1 as well as to alter cell survival and stress signaling in the form of autophagy and mitogen-activated protein kinase activation, respectively. Conclusion: Low, nontoxic doses of cisplatin can sequester HMGB1 inside the nucleus of redox-stressed hepatocytes in vitro and prevent its release in vivo in a murine model of hepatic I/R. Furthermore, cell survival and stress signaling pathways are altered by low-dose cisplatin. Therefore, platinating agents may provide a novel approach to mitigating the deleterious effects of I/R-mediated disease processes.
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