Deficiency in mouse hyaluronidase 2: A new mechanism of chronic thrombotic microangiopathy

Cécile Onclinx, Sophie Dogne, Laurence Jadin, Fabienne Andris, Christian Grandfils, François Jouret, François Mullier, Bruno Flamion

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Hyaluronan is a major component of the extracellular matrix and glycocalyx. Its main somatic degrading enzymes are hyaluronidases 1 and 2, neither of which is active in the bloodstream. We generated hyaluronidase 2-deficient mice. These animals suffer from chronic, mild anemia and thrombocytopenia, in parallel with a 10-fold increase in plasma hyaluronan concentration. In this study we explored the mechanism of these hematologic anomalies. The decreased erythrocyte and platelet counts were attributed to peripheral consumption. The erythrocyte half-life was reduced from 25 to 8 days without signs of premature aging. Hyaluronidase 2-deficient platelets were functional. Major intrinsic defects in erythrocyte membrane or stability, as well as detrimental effects of high hyaluronan levels on erythrocytes, were ruled out in vitro. Normal erythrocytes transfused into hyaluronidase 2-deficient mice were quickly destroyed but neither splenectomy nor anti-C5 administration prevented chronic hemolysis. Schistocytes were present in blood smears from hyaluronidase 2-deficient mice at a level of 1% to 6%, while virtually absent in control mice. Hyaluronidase 2-deficient mice had increased markers of endothelial damage and microvascular fibrin deposition, without renal failure, accumulation of ultra-large multimers of von Willebrand factor, deficiency of A Disintegrin And Metalloproteinase with ThromboSpondin type 1 motifs, member 13 (ADAMTS13), or hypertension. There was no sign of structural damage in hepatic or splenic sinusoids, or in any other microvessels. We conclude that hyaluronidase 2 deficiency induces chronic thrombotic microangiopathy with hemolytic anemia in mice. The link between this uncommon condition and hyaluronidase 2 remains to be explored in humans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1023-1030
Number of pages8
JournalActa haematologica
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 5 Aug 2015


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