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J Biol Chem. 2013 Sep 6;288(36):25792-803. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M113.479584. Epub 2013 Jul 22.

Immobilized heavy chain-hyaluronic acid polarizes lipopolysaccharide-activated macrophages toward M2 phenotype.

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TissueTech, Inc., Miami, Florida 33173, USA.


Despite the known anti-inflammatory effect of amniotic membrane, its action mechanism remains largely unknown. HC-HA complex (HC-HA) purified from human amniotic membrane consists of high molecular weight hyaluronic acid (HA) covalently linked to the heavy chain (HC) 1 of inter-α-trypsin inhibitor. In this study, we show that soluble HC-HA also contained pentraxin 3 and induced the apoptosis of both formyl-Met-Leu-Phe or LPS-activated neutrophils and LPS-activated macrophages while not affecting the resting cells. This enhanced apoptosis was caused by the inhibition of cell adhesion, spreading, and proliferation caused by HC-HA binding of LPS-activated macrophages and preventing adhesion to the plastic surface. Preferentially, soluble HC-HA promoted phagocytosis of apoptotic neutrophils in resting macrophages, whereas immobilized HC-HA promoted phagocytosis in LPS-activated macrophages. Upon concomitant LPS stimulation, immobilized HC-HA but not HA polarized macrophages toward the M2 phenotype by down-regulating IRF5 protein and preventing its nuclear localization and by down-regulating IL-12, TNF-α, and NO synthase 2. Additionally, IL-10, TGF-β1, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ, LIGHT (TNF superfamily 14), and sphingosine kinase-1 were up-regulated, and such M2 polarization was dependent on TLR ligation. Collectively, these data suggest that HC-HA is a unique matrix component different from HA and uses multiple mechanisms to suppress M1 while promoting M2 phenotype. This anti-inflammatory action of HC-HA is highly desirable to promote wound healing in diseases heightened by unsuccessful transition from M1 to M2 phenotypes.


Amniotic Membrane, HC-HA, M1/M2 Phenotype; Apoptosis; Cell Adhesion; Cell Proliferation; Inflammation; Macrophages; Phagocytosis

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