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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2010, Article ID 380948, 9 pages
Research Article

The Potency of Hyaluronan of Different Molecular Weights in the Stimulation of Blood Phagocytes

1Institute of Biophysics, The Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, v. v. i., Královopolská 135, 612 65 Brno, Czech Republic
2Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Kotlářská 2, 611 37 Brno, Czech Republic

Received 1 November 2010; Accepted 20 December 2010

Academic Editor: Andrew Parker

Copyright © 2010 Barbora Safrankova et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The regulatory functions of glycosaminoglycan hyaluronan (HA) are suggested to be dependent on its molecular weight (MW). Proinflammatory and stimulatory effects are proposed mainly for the low MW HA. However, the complex response of blood phagocytes to HA of different MW is unclear. Herein, the effects of highly purified HA of precisely defined MW (52, 250, and 970 kDa) on human blood phagocytes were tested. All MW HA activated blood phagocytes, including the spontaneous production of ROS, degranulation, and the production of tumor necrosis factor alpha, with low MW HA 52 kDa having the highest potency and high MW HA 970 kDa having the lowest potency. Interestingly, HA inhibited ROS production stimulated by opsonized zymosan particles and, in contrast, potentiated starch-activated ROS production, mostly independent of MW. Data showed a significant effect of HA of different MW on blood phagocytes, including high MW HA.