Skip to main content

Retraction Note to: High systemic levels of the cytokine-inducing HMGB1 isoform secreted in severe macrophage activation syndrome

Retraction Note to: Mol Med (2014) 20:538–547

The Editors-in-Chief have retracted this article (Palmblad et al. 2014) following an investigation by the University of Liverpool. The investigation concluded, based on the circumstances described below, that the data obtained by mass-spectrometry presented in Figs. 2–5 are likely to be fraudulent and should not be relied upon. The investigation found no evidence that this mass-spectrometry was carried out on any University of Liverpool instrumentation from systematic examination of equipment logs. This does not exclude the fact that the mass-spectrometry may have been undertaken at another research center. However, they found no evidence that the mass-spectrometry was performed anywhere else or any financial audit trail to indicate that instrument time was paid for elsewhere. In addition to this, the mass-spectrometry technique to quantify HMGB-1 isoforms by mass-spectrometry has been unable to be reproduced at the Liverpool laboratories using either the supplied protocol or through adaptation of the protocols. Similar data in other publications investigated in this case, in which the institution has been able to assess primary data or which involve publication of assessable mass-spectra images, have demonstrated figure fabrication and fraudulent manipulation of data. The co-authors of the article were found by the investigation not to be complicit in any research misconduct, and they have been invited to resubmit a revised version of the manuscript for further peer review. More information on the university's investigation can be found on the university website (Further update on research misconduct investigation 2020).

Dr. Karin Palmblad, Dr. Anna-Carin Horne, Dr. Helena Erlandsson Harris, Dr. Jan-Inge Henter and Dr. Ulf Andersson agree to this retraction. Dr. Hanna Schierbeck and Dr. Erik Sundberg have not responded to any correspondence from the editor/publisher about this retraction.


  1. Further update on research misconduct investigation, 17 August 2020.

  2. Palmblad K, Schierbeck H, Sundberg E, Horne AC, Harris HE, Henter J-I, Antoine DJ, Andersson U. High systemic levels of the cytokine-inducing HMGB1 isoform secreted in severe macrophage activation syndrome. Mol Med. 2014;20:538–47.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Karin Palmblad.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Palmblad, K., Schierbeck, H., Sundberg, E. et al. Retraction Note to: High systemic levels of the cytokine-inducing HMGB1 isoform secreted in severe macrophage activation syndrome. Mol Med 26, 131 (2020).

Download citation