Oral administration of high molecular weight hyaluronan (900 kDa) controls immune system via Toll-like receptor 4 in the intestinal epithelium

J Biol Chem. 2010 Aug 6;285(32):24751-8. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110.104950. Epub 2010 May 26.


Low molecular weight hyaluronan enhances or induces inflammation through toll-like receptor 4 (TLR-4). However, the effects of high molecular weight hyaluronan (HA900) on TLR-4 are unknown. In this study, HA900 (900 kDa) was administered orally to MRL-lpr/lpr mice, a Th-1-type autoimmune disease model. Lymphoaccumulation of double-negative T cells, which is enhanced by proinflammatory cytokines, was suppressed by HA900 treatment. Cytokine array analysis showed that HA900 treatment enhanced production of interleukin-10, an anti-inflammatory cytokine, and down-regulated chemokine production. HA900 colocalized with TLR-4 on the luminal surface of epithelial cells in the large intestine. These cells are parts of the immune system and express cytokines. DNA array analysis of the tissue from the large intestine showed that HA900 treatment up-regulated suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3) expression and down-regulated pleiotrophin expression. Treatment of cultured double-negative T cells from MRL-lpr/lpr mice with pleiotrophin rescued these cells. SOCS3, which is known to suppress inflammation, was enhanced by HA900 treatment. In TLR-4 knockdown HT29 cells (a cell line derived from large intestinal cells), HA900 did not bind to HT29 cells and did not up-regulate SOCS3 expression. Our results suggest that oral administration of HA900 modulates Th-1-type autoimmune disease and inflammation by up-regulating SOCS3 expression and down-regulating pleiotrophin expression via TLR-4 in intestinal epithelial cells.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • Hyaluronic Acid / chemistry
  • Immune System*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / cytology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Suppressor of Cytokine Signaling 3 Protein
  • Suppressor of Cytokine Signaling Proteins / metabolism
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4 / metabolism*


  • SOCS3 protein, human
  • Socs3 protein, mouse
  • Suppressor of Cytokine Signaling 3 Protein
  • Suppressor of Cytokine Signaling Proteins
  • TLR4 protein, human
  • Tlr4 protein, mouse
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4
  • Hyaluronic Acid