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Front Integr Neurosci. 2017 Oct 23;11:30. doi: 10.3389/fnint.2017.00030. eCollection 2017.

Tenascins in Retinal and Optic Nerve Neurodegeneration.

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Department of Cell Morphology and Molecular Neurobiology, Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology, Ruhr-University Bochum, Bochum, Germany.


Tenascins represent key constituents of the extracellular matrix (ECM) with major impact on central nervous system (CNS) development. In this regard, several studies indicate that they play a crucial role in axonal growth and guidance, synaptogenesis and boundary formation. These functions are not only important during development, but also for regeneration under several pathological conditions. Additionally, tenascin-C (Tnc) represents a key modulator of the immune system and inflammatory processes. In the present review article, we focus on the function of Tnc and tenascin-R (Tnr) in the diseased CNS, specifically after retinal and optic nerve damage and degeneration. We summarize the current view on both tenascins in diseases such as glaucoma, retinal ischemia, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) or diabetic retinopathy. In this context, we discuss their expression profile, possible functional relevance, remodeling of the interacting matrisome and tenascin receptors, especially under pathological conditions.


extracellular matrix; glaucoma; glycoprotein; neurodegeneration; optic nerve; retina; tenascin-C; tenascin-R

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