Hyaluronic acid (HA) is the simplest glycosaminoglycan and a major constituent of the extra cellular matrix. As the one of the longest-lived rodent species, naked mole-rat is remarkable for its longevity and its resistance. Producing large amount of HA is thought to be an important mechanism for naked mole rat longevity. Mice overexpressing naked mole rat Hyaluronic acid synthase 2 gene (nmrHAS2 mice) have extended lifespan and health span.
My work is to characterize the nmrHAS2 mice. Specifically, I am mainly focusing on how accumulation of HA helps to maintain the stem cell population and regulate the immune system which facilitates the longevity of those mice.