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Transplantation. 2000 Feb 27;69(4):665-7.

Blocking of CD44-hyaluronic acid interaction prolongs rat allograft survival.

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  • 1SangStat Medical Corporation, Fremont, California 94555, USA.



Lymphocyte activation and infiltration into a transplanted organ is an integral component of the rejection process. Graft infiltration of lymphocytes requires adhesion of leukocytes to the endothelium, diapedesis, and transmigration. One of several proteins involved in this process is CD44, which is known to interact with endothelial hyaluronan (HA). Blockade of cell-matrix and cell-cell interactions have been used extensively for modulation of immune responses and graft rejection. Based on these observations, we evaluated the effects of blocking CD44-HA interactions in a transplantation model.


We used a low molecular weight hyaluronic acid formulation (LMWHA) for the treatment of rat renal and cardiac allograft recipients. LMWHA was administered intraperitoneally at 0.5-5 mg/kg for 5-10 days after transplantation with or without a subtherapeutic dose of cyclosporine.


LMWHA monotherapy prolonged allograft survival significantly, but only for a few days. In combination with low-dose cyclosporine, long-term survival of allografts was observed in some of recipients.


Further definition of the underlying mechanism of LMWHA therapy may provide a rationale for the development of novel, nontoxic, nonimmunogenic immunotherapies.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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