We demonstrated the effect of synthesized sulfated hyaluronan (SHya), which is composed of a sulfated group and hyaluronan, and basic fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF-2) on normal human astrocytes (NHA) activity and its morphological transformation in vitro study. Astrocyte is a kind of glial cell and stellated astrocyte (activating astrocyte) supports axons network, neurons survival and synaptic plasticity. Treatment of SHya hardly affected NHA proliferation. However combination treatment of SHya and FGF-2 increased NHA proliferation. Treatment of SHya promoted transformation of normal astrocyte into a stella morphology (stellation) and combination treatment of SHya and FGF-2 promoted stellation than that of SHya only. Treatment of SHya increased glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), nestin mRNA and GFAP protein expression in the stellated NHA. The cell-cell adhesion of NHA increased by treatment of SHya. Treatment of SHya increased heparin-binding trophic factors FGF-2, midkine, and some other trophic factors mRNA level in the NHA. These results suggested that the treatment of SHya promoted NHA activity due to enhancing neurotrophins production and the morphological transformation of NHA and the effect of SHya on astrocytes partly involved FGF-2 activity. These findings indicate that SHya may be involved in the astrocyte activity and support neurons survivals. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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