The role of tenascin C in cardiovascular disease

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Journal Article
Cardiovascular Research, 2011, 92 (1), pp. 19 - 28
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The extracellular matrix protein tenascin C (TnC) is expressed in a variety of embryonic tissues, but its expression in adult arteries is co-incident with sites of vascular disease. TnC expression has been linked to the development and complications of intimal hyperplasia, pulmonary artery hypertension, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, and heart failure. This review identifies the growing collection of evidence linking TnC with cardiovascular disease development. The transient upregulation of this extracellular matrix protein at sites of vascular disease could provide a means to target TnC in the development of diagnostics and new therapies. Studies in TnC-deficient mice have implicated this protein in the development of intimal hyperplasia. Further animal and human studies are required to thoroughly assess the role of TnC in some of the other pathologies it has been linked with, such as atherosclerosis and pulmonary hypertension. Large population studies are also warranted to clarify the diagnostic value of this extracellular matrix protein in cardiovascular disease, for example by targeting its expression using radiolabelled antibodies or measuring circulating concentrations of TnC. © 2011 The Author.
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