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J Neurosurg. 1995 Jan;82(1):106-12.

Focal brain injury and upregulation of a developmentally regulated extracellular matrix protein.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, University of Tennessee, Memphis.


Tenascin is an extracellular matrix glycoprotein expressed during both normal development and neoplastic growth in both neural and nonneural tissues. During development of the central nervous system (CNS), tenascin is synthesized by glial cells, in particular by immature astrocytes, and is concentrated in transient boundaries around emerging groups of functionally distinct neurons. In the mature CNS, only low levels of the glycoprotein can be detected. The present study demonstrates that following trauma to the adult human cerebral cortex, discrete populations of reactive astrocytes upregulate their expression of tenascin and dramatically increase their transcription of the tenascin gene. The enhanced expression of tenascin may be involved in CNS wound healing, and may also affect neurite growth within and around a brain lesion.

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