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 journalArticlepeer-review

21 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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