Hyaluronan is an important constituent of the extracellular matrix in skin, and recent studies suggest that there is a pool of easily removable ("free") hyaluronan drained by lymph. The removal rate of free hyaluronan in skin was measured from the elimination of [3H]hyaluronan, injected subcutaneously in 13 rabbits. The removal of radioactivity was determined from appearance of 3H in plasma. During the first 24 h after injection, 10-87% of the tracer entered blood, less in injectates with high concentrations of hyaluronan. The removal was monoexponential with a half-life of 0.5-1 day when concentration of hyaluronan was 5 mg/ml or less. When hyaluronan concentration was 10 mg/ml or higher, the removal was slow for about 24 h and then became similar to that in experiments with low hyaluronan concentration. Free hyaluronan at physiological concentrations is thus turned over with the same rate as serum albumin, supporting the concept that hyaluronan is removed essentially by lymph flow to be degraded in lymph nodes and liver.
- Copyright © 1990 the American Physiological Society