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Disease Markers
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 5756102, 9 pages
Research Article

Serum HMGB1 as a Potential Biomarker for Patients with Asbestos-Related Diseases

1Institute of Occupational Diseases, Zhejiang Academy of Medical Sciences, Hangzhou 310013, China
2Department of Pathology, Zhejiang Provincial People’s Hospital, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310014, China
3Jiading District Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Shanghai 201800, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Jianlin Lou

Received 3 November 2016; Revised 11 January 2017; Accepted 19 January 2017; Published 1 March 2017

Academic Editor: Vincent Sapin

Copyright © 2017 Shibo Ying et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


High-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) functions as a proinflammatory cytokine and is one of the most intriguing molecules in inflammatory disorders and cancers. Notably, HMGB1 is a potential therapeutic target and novel biomarker in related diseases. However, the diagnostic value of HMGB1 for benign and malignant asbestos-related diseases (ARDs) remains unclear. In this work, we detected preoperative serum HMGB1 levels in Chinese asbestos-exposed (AE) and ARDs populations and further evaluated the diagnostic value of HMGB1 in patients with certain types of ARDs, including those with pleural plaques, asbestosis, or malignant mesothelioma (MM). The experimental data presented that the serum level of HMGB1 was significantly elevated in AE and ARDs subjects. Our findings indicated that serum HMGB1 is a sensitive and specific biomarker for discriminating asbestosis- and MM-affected individuals from healthy or AE individuals. In addition, serum matrix metalloproteinases 2 and 9 are not correlated with HMGB1 in ARDs. Thus, our study provides supporting evidence for HMGB1 as a potential biomarker either for the clinical diagnosis of high-risk AE cohorts or for evaluating ARDs.