Send to

Choose Destination
World J Cardiol. 2016 May 26;8(5):340-50. doi: 10.4330/wjc.v8.i5.340.

Tenascin C upregulates interleukin-6 expression in human cardiac myofibroblasts via toll-like receptor 4.

Author information

Azhar Maqbool, Emma J Spary, Karen E Porter, Mark J Drinkhill, Neil A Turner, Division of Cardiovascular and Diabetes Research, Leeds Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, United Kingdom.



To investigate the effect of Tenascin C (TNC) on the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and matrix metalloproteinases in human cardiac myofibroblasts (CMF).


CMF were isolated and cultured from patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting. Cultured cells were treated with either TNC (0.1 μmol/L, 24 h) or a recombinant protein corresponding to different domains of the TNC protein; fibrinogen-like globe (FBG) and fibronectin type III-like repeats (TNIII 5-7) (both 1 μmol/L, 24 h). The expression of the pro-inflammatory cytokines; interleukin (IL)-6, IL-1β, TNFα and the matrix metalloproteinases; MMPs (MMP1, 2, 3, 9, 10, MT1-MMP) was assessed using real time RT-PCR and western blot analysis.


TNC increased both IL-6 and MMP3 (P < 0.01) mRNA levels in cultured human CMF but had no significant effect on the other markers studied. The increase in IL-6 mRNA expression was mirrored by an increase in protein secretion as assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay (P < 0.01). Treating CMF with the recombinant protein FBG increased IL-6 mRNA and protein (P < 0.01) whereas the recombinant protein TNIII 5-7 had no effect. Neither FBG nor TNIII 5-7 had any significant effect on MMP3 expression. The expression of toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) in human CMF was confirmed by real time RT-PCR, western blot and immunohistochemistry. Pre-incubation of cells with TLR4 neutralising antisera attenuated the effect of both TNC and FBG on IL-6 mRNA and protein expression.


TNC up-regulates IL-6 expression in human CMF, an effect mediated through the FBG domain of TNC and via the TLR4 receptor.


Cardiac fibroblasts; Interleukin-6; Matrix metalloproteinase; Tenascin C; Toll-like receptor

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center