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Front Immunol. 2014 Mar 11;5:101. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2014.00101. eCollection 2014.

Hyaluronan, a crucial regulator of inflammation.

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Department of Pathobiology, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic Foundation , Cleveland, OH , USA.


Hyaluronan (HA), a major component of the extracellular matrix (ECM), plays a key role in regulating inflammation. Inflammation is associated with accumulation and turnover of HA polymers by multiple cell types. Increasingly through the years, HA has become recognized as an active participant in inflammatory, angiogenic, fibrotic, and cancer promoting processes. HA and its binding proteins regulate the expression of inflammatory genes, the recruitment of inflammatory cells, the release of inflammatory cytokines, and can attenuate the course of inflammation, providing protection against tissue damage. A growing body of evidence suggests the cell responses are HA molecular weight dependent. HA fragments generated by multiple mechanisms throughout the course of inflammatory pathologies, elicit cellular responses distinct from intact HA. This review focuses on the role of HA in the promotion and resolution of inflammation.


CD44; TSG-6; Toll-like receptors; glycobiology; hyaluronan; inflammation; inter-alpha trypsin inhibitor; versican

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