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Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a highly abundant component in the extracellular matrix (ECM) and a fundamental element to the architecture and the physiology of the central nervous system (CNS). Often, HA degradation occurs when an overreactive inflammatory response, derived from tissue trauma or neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, causes the ECM in the CNS to be remodeled. Herein, we studied the effects of HA content as a key regulator of human astrocyte (HAf) reactivity using multicomponent interpenetrating polymer networks (mIPNs) comprised of Collagen I, HA and poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate. The selected platform facilities the modulation of HA levels independently of matrix rigidity. Total astrocytic processes length, number of endpoints, the expression of the quiescent markers: Aldehyde Dehydrogenase 1 Family Member L1 (ALDH1L1) and Glutamate Aspartate Transporter (GLAST); the reactive markers: Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein (GFAP) and S100 Calcium-Binding Protein β (S100β); and the inflammatory markers: Inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase (iNOS), Interleukin 1β (IL-1β) and Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha (TNFα), were assessed. Cumulatively, our results demonstrated that the decrease in HA concentration elicited a reduction in the total length of astrocytic processes and an increase in the expression of HAf reactive and inflammatory markers.




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