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Neuromuscul Disord. 1997 Jan;7(1):39-54.

Tenascin-C expression correlates with macrophage invasion in Duchenne muscular dystrophy and in myositis.

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Department of Animal Physiology, Uppsala University, Sweden.


Tenascin-C (TN-C) is an extracellular matrix protein expressed during development in several tissues, but restricted to only a few areas in normal adult tissues. By immunizing mice with human fetal myoblasts we generated a monoclonal antibody to TN-C and mapped the epitope to the aminoterminal end containing EGF-like repeats. Using this antibody we detected by immunohistochemistry TN-C in the epimysium and perimysium of human fetal muscles, as well as in nonfibrillar deposits in myoblast cultures. In situ hybridization did not reveal any signal within human fetal muscle groups, suggesting that non-muscle cells synthesize the majority of the tenascin that localizes in and around human fetal muscle. Immunohistochemical analysis of muscle biopsies from Duchenne/Becker muscular dystrophy and myositis patients revealed that TN-C is expressed in skeletal muscle. Although the patterns of TN-C immunoreactivity were quite different in the two disease entities, the endomysial TN-C reactivity in both DMD/BMD and in myositis invariably correlated with the presence of macrophages.

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