Anti-HMGB1 auto-Abs influence fatigue in patients with Crohn’s disease
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionInnate Immunity. 2021, 27 (4), 286-293. 10.1177/17534259211014252
Fatigue is common in all chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. A conceptual model for understanding the biological basis of fatigue describes it as being a part of the sickness behaviour response generated by pro-inflammatory cytokines and other mediators. We hypothesised that the pro-inflammatory high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) protein is a fatigue-inducing molecule and that auto-Abs against HMGB1 reduce fatigue. We measured Abs against disulphide (ds) HMGB1 and fully reduced (fr) HMGB1 in plasma from 57 patients with Crohn’s disease. Fatigue was rated using the fatigue visual analogue scale (fVAS) and disease activity with faecal calprotectin, C-reactive protein and the Simple Endoscopic Score for Crohn’s disease. Multivariable regression models identified anti-dsHMGB1 and anti-frHMGB1 Abs as the strongest contributing factors for fVAS scores (B = −29.10 (P = 0.01), R2 = 0.17, and B = −17.77 (P = 0.01), R2 = 0.17, respectively). Results indicate that anti-HMGB1 auto-Abs alleviate fatigue possibly by down-regulating HMGB1-induced sickness behaviour.