• Hyaluronan;
  • Pubic symphysis;
  • Histochemistry;
  • HA-biotinylated probe;
  • Pregnancy;
  • Mice;
  • HA-Elisa-like assay


The present work quantifies hyaluronan (HA) during the late pregnancy and post-partum in order to provide a better understanding of the role of HA in the adaptations that occur in the pubic symphysis during this period. HA was quantified in situ (histochemically) and in interpubic tissue extracts by fluorimetric assay. Samples were taken from virgin mice and from pregnant animals at various stages of pregnancy: 12th-18th days into pregnancy, the day of delivery (D19) and the 3rd and 5th day post-partum. The quantitative fluorimetric analysis indicated a gradual increase of HA in the interpubic tissue throughout late pregnancy (2.4–14.6 μg/mg dry weight). This was followed by a decrease beginning on D19 (12.4 μg/mg), reaching close to virgin levels (2.2 μg/mg) on the 5th day post-partum. The same optical density changes could be seen in the HA staining. Furthermore, the histochemical analysis demonstrated the presence of HA both in the extracellular matrix of the tissue and within its cells. Such results indicate that the extracellular presence of HA may contribute to the transformation of the symphysis into a flexible structure. In addition, HA's intracellular presence (until the 18th day of pregnancy) may contribute to cellular proliferation. Finally, during parturition and on the 5th day post-partum, HA may contribute to the maintenance of the myofibroblastic phenotype of ligament cells, aiding the ligament involution after parturition.