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J Biol Chem. 2005 Mar 4;280(9):8316-23. Epub 2004 Dec 22.

Tenascin-R plays a role in neuroprotection via its distinct domains that coordinate to modulate the microglia function.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Research, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore 169609.


Microglia are one of the main cell types activated by brain injury. In the present study, we have investigated how domains of the extracellular matrix molecule tenascin-R (TN-R) modulate microglia function. We found that epidermal growth factor-like repeats inhibited adhesion and migration of microglia via a protein kinase A-dependent mechanism. In contrast, fibronectin 6-8 repeats promoted adhesion and migration of the primary microglia via a protein kinase C-dependent mechanism. Both domains of TN-R induced an up-regulation in the secretion of cytokines, such as chemokine-induced cytokine 3 and tumor neurosis factor alpha. Interestingly, epidermal growth factor-like repeats and fibronectin 6-8 induced a dramatic up-regulation in the secretion of brain-derived neurotrophic factor/transforming growth factor-beta and nerve growth factor/transforming growth factor-beta, respectively, and conditioned medium from activated microglia was able to promote neurite outgrowth of N1E-115 cells and primary cortical neurons. These results suggest that TN-R plays a role in neuroprotection through distinct domains coordinating to modulate microglia function.

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