Hyaluronate-Enhanced Hematopoiesis: Two Different Receptors Trigger the Release of Interleukin-1β and Interleukin-6 From Bone Marrow Macrophages

Sophia Khaldoyanidi, Jürgen Moll, Svetlana Karakhanova, Peter Herrlich and Helmut Ponta


The glycosaminoglycan hyaluronate (HA) is part of the extracellular environment in bone marrow. We show here that HA activates signal transduction cascades important for hemopoiesis. In myeloid and lymphoid long-term bone marrow cultures (LTBMC), treatment with hyaluronidase (HA’ase) results in reduced production of both progenitor and mature cells. Exogeneous HA added to LTBMC had the opposite effect: it enhanced hematopoiesis. The effect of HA is mediated through two different HA receptors on bone marrow macrophage-like cells, one of which is CD44 while the other is unknown. HA induces bone marrow macrophages to secrete IL-1β (CD44-dependent) and IL-6 (CD44-independent). The two receptors address different signal transduction pathways: CD44 links to a pathway activating p38 protein kinase while the other yet unknown receptor induces Erk activity. There was no difference of the effect of HA and HA’ase on hematopoiesis in LTBMC and on cytokine production by macrophages in CD44-deficient mice compared with wild-type mice, indicating that the CD44 hyaluronate receptor and its signal transduction can be compensated for. Our data suggest a regulatory role for the extracellular matrix component HA in hematopoiesis and show the induction of signal transduction by HA receptors.

  • Submitted September 16, 1998.
  • Accepted March 31, 1999.
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