Mechanisms involved in enhancement of osteoclast formation and function by low molecular weight hyaluronic acid

Wataru Ariyoshi, Tetsu Takahashi, Takahiro Kanno, Hisashi Ichimiya, Hiroshi Takano, Takeyoshi Koseki, Tatsuji Nishihara

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57 Citations (Scopus)


Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a component of the extracellular matrix that has been shown to play an important role in bone formation, resorption, and mineralization both in vivo and in vitro. We examined the effects of HA at several molecular weights on osteoclast formation and function induced by RANKL (receptor activator of NF-κB ligand) in a mouse monocyte cell line (RAW 264.7). HA at Mr < 8,000 (low molecular weight HA (LMW-HA)) enhanced tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase-positive multinucleated cell formation and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase activity induced by RANKL in a dose-dependent manner, whereas HA at Mr > 900,000 (high molecular weight HA (HMW-HA)) showed no effect on osteoclast differentiation. LMW-HA enhanced pit formation induced by RAW 264.7 cells, whereas HMW-HA did not, and LMW-HA stimulated the expression of RANK (receptor activator of NF-κB) protein in RAW 264.7 cells. In addition, we found that LMW-HA enhanced the levels of c-Src protein and phosphorylation of ERKs and p38 MAPK in RAW 264.7 cells stimulated with RANKL, whereas the p38 MAPK inhibitor SB203580 inhibited RANKL-induced osteoclast differentiation. This enhancement of c-Src and RANK proteins induced by LMW-HA was inhibited by CD44 function-blocking monoclonal antibody. These results indicate that LMW-HA plays an important role in osteoclast differentiation and function through the interaction of RANKL and RANK.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18967-18972
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 2005 May 13

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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