Hyaluronidase is one of a wide number of complex proteins called enzymes which to help to speed up and regulate a number of chemical reactions in living cells. But what specifically is it…what are its wider uses…and where does it come from? Here, will discuss some of the questions you might have about Hyaluronidase…

What is Hyaluronidase?

Hyaluronidase performs a crucial role in allowing the effects of hyaluronic acid (which is mainly found in the interstitial barrier between bodily cells) to be temporarily weakened – letting other enzymes work quickly and effectively.  It essentially allows tissues to be more responsive and become more permeable. This is why it is often used alongside other drugs - they become more effective and enjoy a speedier delivery when used in conjunction with Hyaluronidase.

Hyaluronidase can be extracted from a variety of animals, from insects, leeches, snake venom and bacteria, but is most commonly extracted from mammalian tissues, of which it is most richly found in bovine or ovine testes.

How does it work?

Our bodies produce a wide number of different acids, the vast majority of which are good for our bodies.  One of these acids is hyaluronic acid, a mucopolysaccharide (a type of complex sugar) that forms an important part of human connective tissue and a vital part of healthy skin. Hyaluronic acid binds, protects and lubricates moveable parts of the body water and tissue.

Hyaluronidase is used specifically as an enzyme when some injected drugs need to be dissolved and processed quickly and more effectively than usual. And as Hyaluronidase limits the effective binding of Hyaluronic acid, it encourages other enzymes to move more freely around the body.

What other functions does Hyaluronidase offer?

Hyaluronidase has proved beneficial in various biotechnological processes. As well as increasing the solubility of drugs, the enzyme is also utilised during X-rays, as it encourages the body to readily accept the contrast dyes, allowing them to be seen more clearly.   It is also used in ophthalmic surgery, in connection with a local anaesthetic.