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Gene Expr Patterns. 2007 Jan;7(3):363-9. Epub 2006 Jul 27.

Endosialin is expressed on stromal fibroblasts and CNS pericytes in mouse embryos and is downregulated during development.

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Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Centre, The Institute of Cancer Research, 237 Fulham Road, London SW3 6JB, UK.


Endosialin has been assigned the alternate name of tumour endothelial marker 1 (TEM1) due to its identification as a highly upregulated gene transcript in tumour endothelium compared to normal endothelium. As a consequence there is interest in endosialin as a potential therapeutic target in cancer treatment. However, there are conflicting reports over the nature of vascular expression in tumours with some evidence that endosialin is expressed on perivascular pericytes rather than the endothelial cells themselves. To address this, we have analysed the expression of endosialin in mouse embryos, newborn pups and adults. In the embryo endosialin is predominantly expressed on stromal fibroblasts throughout the mesenchyme but expression is also observed on the developing vasculature. When analysed by confocal microscopy endosialin on vessels does not colocalise with endothelial cells expressing CD31. Rather, endosialin is restricted to closely associated perivascular cells that also express the pericyte marker NG2. Finally, the fibroblast and pericyte expression of endosialin changes dynamically during development and becomes highly restricted in adult mouse tissues. This evolving picture of endosialin expression in sites of active tissue remodelling and neovascularisation has implications in tumour growth, angiogenesis and metastasis.

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