hyaluronic acid

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hyaluronic acid:

see mucopolysaccharidemucopolysaccharide
, class of polysaccharide molecules, also known as glycosaminoglycans, composed of amino-sugars chemically linked into repeating units that give a linear unbranched polymeric compound.
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Hyaluronic acid

A polysaccharide which is an integral part of the gel-like substance of animal connective tissue; it supposedly serves as a lubricant and shock absorbent in the joints. Hyaluronic acid has also been isolated from umbilical cord, synovial fluid, skin, certain fowl tumors, and other sources. Treatment of this polysaccharide with the enzyme hyaluronidase, followed by acid hydrolysis, yields a disaccharide consisting of N-acetyl- d -glucosamine and d -glucuronic acid. This disaccharide appears to be the basic repeating structural unit that constitutes the hyaluronic acid molecule. See Hyaluronidase, Polysaccharide

McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Bioscience. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Hyaluronic Acid

 

an acidic mucopolysaccharide that consists of repeating units of α-glucuronide-N-acetylglucosamine:

It is widespread in animal and human tissues. Molecular weight, 200,000-500,000 and higher. Present in skin, synovia, and the coverings of egg cells. Hyaluronic acid is an important component of the main material of connective tissue. Its solutions are very viscous; therefore, it can reduce the penetrability of tissues, preventing pathogens from penetrating into them.

Hyaluronic acid is rapidly metabolized in the body, where its half-life is two days. The enzymatic hydrolysis of hyaluronic acid to acetylglucosamine and glucuronic acid is effected by hyaluronidase, which is present in the walls of pathogens, semen, the salivary secretions of leeches, rapidly growing tumors, and snake, spider, and bee venom. The hyaluronidase of microbes and venom, which destroys the hyaluronic acid of intercellular material, promotes the spread of infection deep inside body tissues. Sperm hyaluronidase, in destroying the follicular layer of the egg cell, creates favorable conditions for its fertilization.

Hyaluronidase is used as a medicinal preparation to accelerate liquid absorption when the body is dehydrated, as a factor to facilitate the rapid penetration of anesthetics, and to promote the growth of connective tissue after various traumas.

V. V. MAL’TSEVA

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

hyaluronic acid

[¦hī·ə·lu̇¦rän·ik ′as·əd]
(biochemistry)
A polysaccharide found as an integral part of the gellike substance of animal connective tissue.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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