Overexpression of hyaluronan synthases alters vascular smooth muscle cell phenotype and promotes monocyte adhesion

J Cell Physiol. 2006 Feb;206(2):378-85. doi: 10.1002/jcp.20468.


Hyaluronan (HA) accumulates in vascular disease but its functional role is not fully understood. To investigate the impact of HA enriched extracellular matrices (ECM) on cell phenotype, arterial smooth muscle cells (ASMCs) were transduced with retroviral constructs (LXSN) encoding murine has-1, has-2, and has-3. HA synthesis was significantly elevated in has transduced ASMCs. Metabolically labeled HA from has-1 and has-2 transduced cells was present mostly in high molecular weight (HWA) fractions (2-10x10(6) Da), whereas HA produced by has-3 and control cells was present in lower molecular weight fractions (approximately 2x10(6) Da). Both has-1 and has-3 transduced ASMCs accumulated more pericellular HA than has-2 transduced ASMCs. All has transduced ASMCs had attenuated growth and migration rates, and a decreased detachment response. Affinity histochemistry revealed that has-1 transduced ASMCs accumulated the greatest amount of HA containing ECM than the other transduced ASMCs. This ECM was hyaluronidase sensitive and bound a significantly greater number of monocytes than the ECM generated by has-2 or has-3 transduced ASMCs. Confocal microscopy showed CD44 positive monocytes bound to hyaluronidase sensitive ECM in has-1 transduced ASMCs. These data implicate specific has isoforms in the formation of HA enriched pro-inflammatory ECMs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Movement
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Glucuronosyltransferase / genetics
  • Glucuronosyltransferase / metabolism
  • Glucuronosyltransferase / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronan Synthases
  • Hyaluronic Acid / metabolism
  • Isoenzymes / physiology
  • Male
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / cytology
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred F344
  • Transduction, Genetic
  • U937 Cells


  • Isoenzymes
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Glucuronosyltransferase
  • Hyaluronan Synthases