Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Induces Hyaluronan Deposition and Leukocyte Adhesion

Alana K. Majors*, Richard C. Austin, Carol A. De La Motte, Reed E. Pyeritz, Vincent C. Hascall, Sean P. Kessler, Ganes Sen, Scott A. Strong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Scopus citations


There is mounting evidence that perturbations in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) function play a key role in the pathogenesis of a broad range of diseases. We have examined the ability of ER stress to modulate leukocyte binding to colonic and aortic smooth muscle cells. In vitro, control smooth muscle cells bind few leukocytes, but treatment with compounds that induce ER stress, including tunicamycin, A23187, and thapsigargin, promotes leukocyte binding. Likewise, dextran sulfate, another agent capable of inducing ER stress and promoting inflammation in vivo, strongly induces leukocyte adhesion. The bound leukocytes are released by hyaluronidase treatment, indicating a critical role for hyaluronan-containing structures in mediating leukocyte binding. Affinity histochemistry demonstrated that hyaluronan accumulates and is present in cable-like structures in the treated, but not the untreated, cultures and that these structures serve as attachment sites for leukocytes. Hyaluronan-rich regions of both murine and human inflamed colon contain numerous cells that stain intensely for ER-resident chaperones containing the KDEL sequence, demonstrating a relationship between ER stress and hyaluronan deposition in vivo. These results indicate that ER stress may contribute to chronic inflammation by forming a hyaluronan-rich extracellular matrix that is conducive to leukocyte binding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47223-47231
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number47
StatePublished - Nov 21 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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