Objective: To determine the effects of high molecular weight hyaluronic acid (HMW-HA) on osteoclast differentiation by monocytes co-cultured with stromal cells. Methods: Mouse bone marrow stromal cell line ST2 cells were incubated with HMW-HA or 4-methylunbeliferone (4-MU) for various times. In some experiments, cells were pre-treated with the anti-CD44 monoclonal antibody (CD44 mAb) or Rho kinase pathway inhibitors (simvastatin or Y27632), then treated with HMW-HA. The expression of receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) was determined using real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), western blotting, and immunofluorescence microscopy, while the amount of active RhoA was measured by a pull-down assay. To further clarify the role of HMW-HA in osteoclastogenesis, mouse monocyte RAW 264.7 cells were co-cultured with ST2 cells pre-stimulated with 1,25(OH)2D3. Osteoclast-like cells were detected by staining with tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP). Results: HMW-HA decreased RANKL mRNA and protein expressions, whereas inhibition of hyaluronic acid (HA) synthesis by 4-MU enhanced RANKL expression. Blockage of HA-CD44 binding by CD44 mAb suppressed HMW-HA-mediated inhibition of RANKL. Pull-down assay findings also revealed that HMW-HA transiently activated RhoA in ST2 cells and pre-treatment with CD44 mAb inhibited the activation of RhoA protein mediated by HMW-HA. Moreover pre-treatment with Rho kinase pathway inhibitors also blocked the inhibition of RANKL by HMW-HA. Co-culture system results showed that HMW-HA down-regulated differentiation into osteoclast-like cells by RAW 264.7 cells induced by 1,25(OH)2D3-stimulated ST2 cells. Conclusions: These results indicated that HA-CD44 interactions down-regulate RANKL expression and osteoclastogenesis via activation of the Rho kinase pathway. © 2013 Osteoarthritis Research Society International.
Ariyoshi, W., Okinaga, T., Knudson, C. B., Knudson, W., & Nishihara, T. (2014). High molecular weight hyaluronic acid regulates osteoclast formation by inhibiting receptor activator of NF-κB ligand through Rho kinase. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, 22(1), 111–120. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joca.2013.10.013