Tenascin-C expression in dystrophin-related muscular dystrophy.
The mdx mouse has a mutated dystrophin gene and is used as a model for the study of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). We investigated whether regenerating mdx skeletal muscle contains the extracellular matrix protein tenascin-C (TN-C), which is expressed in wound healing and nerve regeneration. Prior to the initiation of muscle degeneration, both normal and mdx mice displayed similar weak staining for TN-C in skeletal muscle, but by 3 weeks of age the mice differed substantially. TN-C was undetectable in normal muscle except at the myotendinous junction, while in dystrophic muscle, TN-C was prominent in degenerating/regenerating areas, but absent from undegenerated muscle. With increasing age, TN-C staining declined around stable regenerated mdx myofibers. TN-C was also observed in muscle from dogs with muscular dystrophy and in human boys with DMD. Therefore, in dystrophic muscle, TN-C expression may be stimulated by the degenerative process and remain upregulated unless the tissue undergoes successful regeneration.
Settles, DL; Cihak, RA; Erickson, HP
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