Avian tenascin-W: Expression in smooth muscle and bone, and effects on calvarial cell spreading and adhesion in vitro

Caroline V. Meloty-Kapella, Martin Degen, Ruth Chiquet-Ehrismann, Richard P Tucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


Tenascins are glycoproteins found primarily in the embryonic extracellular matrix. Here we have characterized the fourth and final member of the tenascin family in birds: tenascin-W. Avian tenascin-W has 3.5 epidermal growth factor-like repeats, 6 fibronectin type III domains, and a C-terminal fibrinogen-related domain, Immunohistochemistry reveals that avian tenascin-W is expressed transiently in developing smooth muscle, tendons, and ligaments, but the primary site of tenascin-W expression during development is in the extracellular matrix of bone and the cellular periosteum. In bony matrix, tenascin-W-coated fibrils partly overlap with fibrils that contain tenascin-C. The anti-tenascin-W also labels fibrils in cultures of osteogenic embryonic chicken calvarial cells. Primary calvarial cells cultured on purified tenascin-W become rounded, and fewer of these cells spread on fibronectin when tenascin-W is added to the medium when compared with calvarial cells cultured on fibronectin alone. Moreover, tenascin-W reduces the adhesion of calvarial cells to collagen type I in a shear force assay. We conclude that tenascin-W is likely to play a phylogenetically conserved role in developing bone and that it shares some of the basic anti-adhesive and matrix modulatory properties as tenascin-C.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1532-1542
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopmental Dynamics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2006


  • Chicken
  • Development
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Osteoblast
  • Osteogenesis
  • Tenascin-C
  • Tenascin-R
  • Tenascin-Y

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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