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Trends Immunol. 2005 Dec;26(12):637-43. Epub 2005 Oct 7.

Hyaluronan cross-linking: a protective mechanism in inflammation?

Author information

1
MRC Immunochemistry Unit, Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QU, UK. tony.day@bioch.ox.ac.uk

Abstract

Production of the glycosaminoglycan hyaluronan is increased at sites of inflammation, often correlating with the accumulation of leukocytes. Mounting evidence suggests that this polysaccharide can be organized into a wide variety of molecular architectures by its association with specific binding proteins, leading to the formation of fibrils and cable-like structures involving a large number of hyaluronan chains. We propose that hyaluronan cross-linking is part of a protective mechanism, promoting adhesion of leukocytes to the hyaluronan complexes rather than enabling contact with inflammation-promoting receptors on the underlying tissues. Leukocytes are thus maintained in a non-activated state by appropriate receptor clustering or receptor co-engagement. Additionally, hyaluronan networks might serve as scaffolds to prevent the loss of extracellular matrix components during inflammation and to sequester proinflammatory mediators.

PMID:
16214414
DOI:
10.1016/j.it.2005.09.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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