Tenascin C may regulate the recruitment of smooth muscle cells during coronary artery development

Differentiation. 2011 Jun;81(5):299-306. doi: 10.1016/j.diff.2011.03.002. Epub 2011 Apr 16.


Tenascin C (TNC) is an extracellular glycoprotein that is thought to be involved in tissue remodeling during organogenesis and regeneration. Using avian embryonic hearts, we investigated the spatiotemporal expression patterns of TNC during the formation of the proximal coronary artery. Immunohistochemistry showed that TNC was deposited around the developing coronary stem and that TNC colocalized with vascular smooth muscle α-actin. A quail-chick chimera, in which a quail proepicardial organ (PEO) had been transplanted, showed that quail tissue-derived cells contributed to the establishment of the endothelial and mural cells of the proximal coronary artery, and the quail tissue-derived mural cells displayed TNC. Proepicardial cells cultured in TNC showed the myofibroblast/smooth muscle cell phenotype and neutralizing anti-TNC antibody suppressed the expression of smooth muscle markers. These observations suggest that TNC plays a role in the mural smooth muscle development of the nascent proximal coronary artery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Chick Embryo
  • Coronary Vessels / embryology*
  • Coronary Vessels / metabolism*
  • Heart / embryology
  • Immunohistochemistry / methods
  • Muscle Development
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / cytology
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / metabolism*
  • Organogenesis
  • Pericardium / cytology*
  • Pericardium / embryology
  • Pericardium / metabolism
  • Quail
  • Tenascin / biosynthesis
  • Tenascin / genetics*
  • Tenascin / metabolism*


  • Actins
  • Tenascin