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Open Access Debate

Roles of hyaluronan in bone resorption

Charles W Prince

Author Affiliations

Webb Nutrition Sciences Building, Room 324, Department of Nutrition Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL USA

BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2004, 5:12  doi:10.1186/1471-2474-5-12

Published: 29 April 2004



Hyaluronan, an unsulfated glycosaminoglycan, while being closely linked to osteoclast function several years ago, has received little attention lately. Given recent new knowledge of hyaluronan's possible cell binding abilities, it is important to re-examine the role of this polysaccharide in bone homeostasis.


Previously published data demonstrating a linkage between induction of hyaluronan synthesis and osteoclast-mediated bone resorption are reviewed. Suggestions are made involving the cell binding ability of hyaluronan and its potential to mediate osteoclast binding to bone surfaces and its potential to serve as a diffusion barrier and participate in the sealing zone required for osteoclast-mediated bone resorption.


This brief article summarizes previous studies linking HA to bone resorption and suggests roles for hyaluronan in the process of bone resorption.