Hyaluronic acid (HA) is believed to play a critical role in wound healing and in morphogenesis. Factors controlling the production of HA by fibroblasts in normal and pathological states are not completely understood. In this report we have observed that natural human interleukin (IL-1)1 beta and human recombinant (hrIL)-1 alpha and beta are potent stimulators of HA production by fibroblasts in vitro. Hyaluronic acid is the major species of glycosaminoglycan (GAG) stimulated by IL-1 in fibroblasts. PGE2 does not appear to be involved directly in this IL-1 effect on fibroblasts, but stimulation of HA production by IL-1 is dependent on protein synthesis. The synthetic human IL-1 beta peptide 163-171 (Val-Gln-Gly-Glu-Glu-Ser-Asn-Asp-Lys), which has been previously shown to stimulate thymocyte proliferation but not fibroblast PGE2 production, is also able to stimulate fibroblast HA production. The synthesis and secretion of IL-1 by mononuclear phagocytes at sites of inflammation and immune reactions in vivo could potentially serve as a signal for fibroblasts to synthesize HA, which in turn could serve to facilitate and modulate reparative and immune processes by virtue of its ability to alter cell-cell, cell matrix, and cell-membrane receptor interactions.
A E Postlethwaite, G N Smith Jr, L B Lachman, R O Endres, H M Poppleton, K A Hasty, J M Seyer, A H Kang