Interaction between cell and extracellular matrix in heart disease: multiple roles of tenascin-C in tissue remodeling

Histol Histopathol. 2004 Apr;19(2):517-25. doi: 10.14670/HH-19.517.


The heart remodels myocardial tissue in physiological and pathological response. The cell-extracellular matrix (ECM) interaction provides not only structural and mechanical support but also important biological signaling during tissue remodeling. Among various ECM molecules, tenascin-C (TNC) is well known as a regulator of multiple cellular functions during embryogenesis, wound healing or cancer progression. In the heart, TNC appears in several important steps of embryonic development such as the initial differentiation of cardiomyocytes or coronary vasculo/angiogenesis, but it is not detected in a normal adult myocardium. However, TNC is found to re-express after myocardial injury and may regulate cellular behavior during tissue remodeling by modulating the attachment of cardiomyocytes to connective tissue, by enhancing migration and differentiation of myofibroblasts, and by inducing matrix metallo-proteinases. TNC also interacts with other ECM molecules and may modulate progression of fibrosis. Furthermore, transient and site specific expression of TNC closely associated with myocardial injury and inflammation suggests not only its key roles during tissue remodeling but also that TNC can be a marker for myocardial disease activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism*
  • Fibrosis / metabolism
  • Heart Diseases / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Models, Anatomic
  • Myocardial Infarction / metabolism
  • Myocarditis / metabolism
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / metabolism
  • Tenascin / chemistry
  • Tenascin / physiology*
  • Wound Healing


  • Tenascin