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Connect Tissue Res. 2008;49(3):115-9. doi: 10.1080/03008200802148439.

Induction of hyaluronan cables and monocyte adherence in epidermal keratinocytes.

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  • 1Department of Biomedicine, University of Kuopio, Kuopio, Finland.


Hyaluronan attached to cell surface can form at least two very different structures; a pericellular coat close to plasma membrane and hyaluronan chains coalesced into "cables" that can span several cell lengths. The hyaluronan in cables, induced by many inflammatory agents, can bind leukocytes, whereas that in the pericellular coat does not contribute to leukocyte binding. Therefore, this structural change seems to have a major role in inflammation. In the present study we checked whether cells of squamous epithelium, like epidermal keratinocytes, can form hyaluronan cables and bind leukocytes. In addition, we checked whether hyaluronan synthesis is affected during the induction of cables. Control keratinocytes expressed pericellular hyaluronan as small patches on plasma membrane. But when treated with inflammatory agents or stressful conditions (tunicamycin, interleukin-1beta, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and high glucose concentration), hyaluronan organization changed into cable-like structures that avidly bound monocytes. Simultaneously, the total amount of secreted hyaluronan was slightly decreased, and the expression levels of hyaluronan synthases (Has1-3) and CD44 were not significantly changed. The results show that epidermal keratinocytes can form cables and bind leukocytes under inflammatory provocation and that these effects are not dependent on stimulation of hyaluronan secretion.

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