Hyaluronan (HA), a major component of the extracellular matrix, has been proven to play a crucial role in tumor progression. However, it remains unknown whether HA exerts any effects in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS).
A total of 82 patients with MDS and 28 healthy donors were investigated in this study. We firstly examined the bone marrow (BM) serum levels of HA in MDS by radioimmunoassay. Then we determined HA production and hyaluronan synthase (HAS) gene expression in BM mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) and mononuclear cells derived from MDS patients. Finally, we investigated the effects of HA on osteogenic differentiation of MSC.
The BM serum levels of HA was increased in higher-risk MDS patients compared to normal controls. Meanwhile, patients with high BM serum HA levels had significantly shorter median survival than those with low HA levels. Moreover, the HA levels secreted by MSC was elevated in MDS, especially in higher-risk MDS. In addition, HAS-2 mRNA expression was also up-regulated in higher-risk MDS-MSC. Furthermore, we found that MSC derived from MDS patients with high BM serum HA levels had better osteogenic differentiation potential. Moreover, MSC cultured in HA-coated surface presented enhanced osteogenic differentiation ability.
Our results show that elevated levels of BM serum HA are related to adverse clinical outcome in MDS. Better osteogenic differentiation of MSC induced by HA may be implicated in the pathogenesis of MDS.