Increased hyaluronan fragmentation during pulmonary ischemia

Lindsey Eldridge, Aigul Moldobaeva, Elizabeth M. Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Hyaluronan (HA), a glycosaminoglycan critical to the lung extracellular matrix, has been shown to dissociate into low-molecular-weight (LMW) HA fragments following exposure to injurious stimuli. In the present study we questioned whether lung HA changed during ischemia and whether changes had an effect on subsequent angiogenesis. After left pulmonary artery ligation (LPAL) in mice, we analyzed left lung homogenates immediately after the onset of ischemia (0 h) and intermittently for 14 days. The relative expression of HA synthase (HAS)1, HAS2, and HAS3 was determined by real-time RT-PCR, total HA in the lung was measured by an ELISA-like assay, gel electrophoresis was performed to determine changes in HA size distribution, and the activity of hyaluronidases was determined by zymography. A 50% increase in total HA was measured 16 h after the onset of ischemia and remained elevated for up to 7 days. Furthermore, a fourfold increase in LMW HA fragments (495-30 kDa) was observed by 4 h after LPAL. Both HAS1 and HAS2 showed increased expression 4-16 h after LPAL, yet no changes were seen in hyaluronidase activity. These results suggest that both HA fragmentation and activation of HA synthesis contribute to increased HA levels during lung ischemia. Delivery of LMW HA fragments in an in vitro tube formation assay or directly to the ischemic mouse lung in vivo both resulted in increased angiogenesis. We conclude that ischemic injury results in matrix fragmentation, which leads to stimulation of neovascularization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L782-L788
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Hyaluronan synthase
  • N-acetyl-L-cysteine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology


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