Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Functional Biomaterials





First page number:


Last page number:



© 2020 MDPI AG. All rights reserved. Introduction: Previous studies have demonstrated that glycosaminoglycan hyaluronic acid (HA) is capable of mediating oral tumor growth. Some clinical evidence has suggested reduced HA expression predicts poor cancer prognosis and that HA-chemotherapy conjugates may function synergistically to inhibit oral tumor growth. Other studies have found conflicting results that suggest enhanced CD44-HA-mediated growth and proliferation. Due to the lack of clarity regarding HA function, the primary goal of this study was to investigate the effects of HA using well-characterized oral cancer cell lines. Methods: Using several commercially available oral squamous cell carcinoma lines (and a normal non-cancerous control), 96-well growth and viability assays were conducted using HA (alone and in combination with chemotherapeutic agents paclitaxel and PD98059). Results: Different results were observed in each of the cell lines evaluated. HA induced small, non-significant changes in cellular viability among each of the cell lines within a narrow range (1-8%), p = 0.207. However, HA induced differing effects on growth, with minimal, non-significant changes among some cell lines, such as SCC4 (+1.7%), CCL-30 (-2.8%), and SCC15 (-2.5%), p = 0.211 and more robust inhibition among other cell lines, SCC9 (-24.4%), SCC25 (-36.6%), and CAL27 (-47.8%), p = 0.0001. Differing effects were also observed with growth and viability under concomitant administration of HA with PD98059 or paclitaxel. Further analysis of these data revealed strong inverse (Pearson's) correlations between initial baseline growth rate and responsiveness to HA administration, ranging from R =-0.27 to R =-0.883. Conclusion: The results of this study revealed differing responses to HA, which may be inversely correlated with intrinsic characteristics, such as the baseline growth rate. This may suggest that the more rapidly growing cell lines are more responsive to combination therapy with hyaluronic acid; an important finding that may provide insights into the mechanisms responsible for these observations.


Chemotherapy; Hyaluronic acid; Oral cancer; Paclitaxel



File Format


File Size

1.884 KB



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

UNLV article access

Search your library

Included in

Biomaterials Commons