Our previous studies have suggested that the interaction between hyaluronic acid (HA) on peritoneal mesothelial cells and the membrane adhesion molecule, CD44, on ovarian tumour cells could be important in ovarian cancer metastasis. In order to study this further, adhesion of six ovarian tumour lines to HA coated on to a plastic surface was investigated. Four lines bound to the HA coat and two lines did not. The adhesive lines were those that expressed high amounts of CD44, but the degree of adhesion was not closely correlated with CD44 expression. The results suggested that different tumour lines had different affinities for HA. Treatment of the HA coat with hyaluronidase substantially reduced adhesion. Adhesion was also partially reduced if the tumour cells were preincubated with either soluble HA, or anti-CD44 antibodies directed against the HA binding region. An antibody against a non-HA binding region only slightly blocked adhesion at high antibody concentrations. Only the CD44H isoform was detected by immunoprecipitation on the tumour cells. These results suggest that ovarian tumour cells can attach to immobilised HA via CD44H on the cell membrane.