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Connect Tissue Res. 2007;48(2):93-8.

Wound healing in tenascin-X deficient mice suggests that tenascin-X is involved in matrix maturation rather than matrix deposition.

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Department of Dermatology, Nijmegen Centre for Molecular Life Sciences, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.


Tenascin-X (TNX) is an extracellular matrix glycoprotein whose absence in humans leads to a recessive form of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS). TNX deficient patients have hypermobile joints and fragile skin, but unlike the classical type of EDS, no atrophic scars were observed. Anecdotal evidence suggested that wound healing in TNX deficient patients is abnormal, but no detailed study has been performed so far. To address the role of TNX in wound healing, we analyzed skin wound morphology and mechanical properties of scars in TNX knockout (KO) mice. Breaking strength of unwounded skin of KO mice is significantly lower (<50%) than that of wild-type (WT) mice. In the early stage of wound healing when TNX is hardly expressed in WT wounds (day 7), WT and KO skin are of similar strength. After 14 days, when TNX starts to be expressed at moderate levels in wounds of WT mice, the WT scars gain a further increase in breaking strength, whereas KO scars do not progress beyond the mechanical strength of uninjured KO skin. No obvious differences between KO and WT mice were noted in the rate of wound closure, or in expression of fibrillar collagens during wound healing. We conclude that TNX is unlikely to be involved in matrix deposition in the early phase of wound healing, but it is required in the later phase when remodeling and maturation of the matrix establishes and improves its biomechanical properties.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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