Tenascin-C expression controls the maturation of articular cartilage in mice

Bastian L. Gruber, Michael J. Mienaltowski, James N. MacLeod, Johannes Schittny, Stephanie Kasper, Martin Flück

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objective: Expression of the de-adhesive extracellular matrix protein tenascin-C (TNC) is associated with the early postnatal development of articular cartilage which is both load-dependent and associated with chondrocyte differentiation. We assessed morphological changes in the articular cartilage of TNC deficient mice at postnatal ages of 1, 4 and 8 weeks compared to age-matched wildtype mice. Results: Cartilage integrity was assessed based on hematoxylin and eosin stained-sections from the tibial bone using a modified Mankin score. Chondrocyte density and cartilage thickness were assessed morphometrically. TNC expression was localized based on immunostaining. At 8 weeks of age, the formed tangential/transitional zone of the articular cartilage was 27% thicker and the density of chondrocytes in the articular cartilage was 55% lower in wildtype than the TNC-deficient mice. TNC protein expression was associated with chondrocytes. No relevant changes were found in mice at 1 and 4 weeks of age. The findings indicate a role of tenascin-C in the post-natal maturation of the extracellular matrix in articular cartilage. This might be a compensatory mechanism to strengthen resilience against mechanical stress.

Original languageEnglish
Article number78
JournalBMC Research Notes
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 17 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s).


  • Adhesion
  • Articular cartilage
  • Cartilage defect
  • Cell density
  • Knock-out mouse
  • Load
  • Tenascin C

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Tenascin-C expression controls the maturation of articular cartilage in mice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this