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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

Increased Concentrations of Extracellular Histones in Patients with Tuberculous Pleural Effusion

Xuemei Jiang, Xiaohui Hao, Tao Wen, Yang Jin, Meng Sun, Hua Yang, Zongmei Wen

Department of Anesthesiology, Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24: CLR5713-5718

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.910431

Available online:

Published: 2018-08-16


BACKGROUND: Extracellular histones have recently been suggested as critical mediators in many inflammatory diseases. However, the role of extracellular histones in tuberculous pleural effusion (TPE) is unclear. The goal of this study was to explore the potential involvement of extracellular histones in patients with TPE.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Samples of pleural effusion and peripheral blood were obtained from 58 patients with tuberculosis. Extracellular histones were determined in both TPE and serum samples. Moreover, the biomarkers for cellular damage, inflammatory cell activation, and systemic inflammation including lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), myeloperoxidase (MPO), S100A8/A9, as well as multiple inflammatory cytokines were measured.
RESULTS: Extracellular histone levels were significantly elevated in TPE (4.762 mg/mL [3.336, 7.307]) and serum samples (1.502 mg/mL [1.084, 2.478]) from tuberculosis patients as compared with the serum (0.585 mg/mL [0.285, 0.949]) from healthy controls. Notably, extracellular histones in TPE were also much higher than in serum of patients (P=0.002). LDH, MPO, and S100A8/A9 levels were all increased in TPE, along with a remarkable elevation of various cytokines. A correlation analysis showed that extracellular histones were positively associated with LDH, MPO, and S100A8/A9, and a panel of inflammatory cytokines in TPE.
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that high concentrations of extracellular histones are markedly present in TPE, which may play an inflammatory role towards the progression of tuberculosis.

Keywords: Histones, Inflammation Mediators, Tuberculosis, Pleural