Fibroblast cultures established from explants of mature scar and skin tissue were analyzed with regard to extracellular glycosaminoglycan (GAG) composition and response to interleukin-1 (IL-1). Following a serum-free 48 hour label with [3H]glucosamine, pericellular and medium GAGs were isolated by precipitation with cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) and analyzed by cellulose acetate electrophoresis. In addition, susceptibility of the precipitates to Streptomyces hyaluronidase, chondroitinase ABC and heparitinase was determined. Labeled conditioned medium from the scarderived cells contained both dermatan sulfate (DS) and hyaluronate (HA), as compared to medium from the control (skin-derived) cells which contained predominantly DS. IL1 induced the appearance of chondroitin 4-sulfate (C4-S) in the medium of the scar cells with no concurrent effect on either DS or HA, and increased the amount of HA in the medium fraction of normal skin cells. The pericellular fraction of the scar-derived cells contained chondroitin 6-sulfate (C6-S) and DS; addition of IL-1 resulted in a shift from DS to heparan sulfate (HS), and the emergence of a pericellular GAG profile similar to that of normal dermal fibroblasts.
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