Tenascin-C is an extracellular matrix protein with growth-, invasion- and angiogenesis-promoting activities. Tenascin-C is upregulated in breast carcinoma and stromal cells, and in many other cell types during tumorigenesis. We demonstrate that tenascin-C RNA expression is inhibited by 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25-D3) in a variety of mouse and human mammary epithelial cell lines exhibiting normal or malignant phenotype. In EpH4 cells, the inhibition is maximum 24 h after 1,25-D3 treatment and correlates with a dose-dependent reduction in the synthesis of tenascin-C protein. Furthermore, 1,25-D3 also abolishes the induction of tenascin-C by serum or the tumor promoter 12-O-tetradecanoyl phorbol 13-acetate. The inhibition of tenascin-C expression may be relevant for the anticancer activity of 1,25-D3.