4-Methylumbelliferone suppresses hyaluronan and adipogenesis in primary cultured orbital fibroblasts from Graves’ orbitopathy

Yeonjung Yoon, Min Kyung Chae, Eun Jig Lee, Jin Sook Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: In Graves’ orbitopathy (GO), hyaluronan secreted by orbital fibroblasts contributes to orbital tissue expansion. The goal of this research was to evaluate the potential benefit of 4-methylumbelliferone (4-MU), a hyaluronan synthase (HAS) inhibitor, in primary cultured orbital fibroblasts from Graves’ orbitopathy. Methods: We assessed the viability of orbital fibroblasts using a live/dead cell assay. Hyaluronan synthesis was evaluated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR). Adipogenesis was assessed by Oil Red O staining and qPCR of adipogenic transcription factors. Results: In orbital fibroblasts treated with 4-MU (up to 1000 μM), cell viability was preserved by 90%. 4-MU significantly inhibited HAS gene expression and hyaluronan production (*P < 0.05). With respect to adipogenesis, 4-MU suppressed the accumulation of lipids and reduced the number of adipocytes, while decreasing expression of adipogenic transcription factors. Conclusions: 4-MU represents a promising new therapeutic agent for GO based on its ability to inhibit hyaluronan production and adipogenesis, without decreasing cell viability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1095-1102
Number of pages8
JournalGraefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2020 May 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT (2016M3A9E9941746).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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