Tenascins regulate cell interaction with the surrounding pericellular matrix. Within bone, tenascins C and W influence osteoblast adhesion and differentiation, although little is known about the regulation of tenascin expression. In this study we examined the effect of osteogenic differentiation, bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) and Wnt growth factors, and mechanical loading on tenascin expression in osteogenic cells. Osteogenic differentiation increased tenascin C (TnC), and decreased tenascin W (TnW), expression. Both growth factors and mechanical loading increased both TnC and TnW expression, albeit via distinct signaling mechanisms. Both BMP-2 and Wnt5a induction of tenascin expression were mediated by MAP kinases. These data establish a role for BMP, Wnts, and mechanical loading in the regulation of tenascin expression in osteoblasts. J. Cell. Biochem. 112: 3354–3363, 2011. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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