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High mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) is a non-histone nuclear protein released during cell necrosis and late apoptosis. It contributes to the activation of monocytes/macrophages and induces the secretion of proinflammatory cytokines.1,–,4 HMGB1 serum concentrations are increased in conditions associated with severe tissue damage such as haemorrhagic shock.5
The hypothesis behind this study was that HMGB1 may be released from damaged tissue in antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis (AAV) and serum levels may correlate with disease activity. Furthermore, with respect to the known sources of HMGB1, high levels were expected in particular in Wegener's granulomatosis (WG) which is characterised by granulomatous inflammation.
Serum samples were obtained from 46 patients with WG, 44 with …