Tenascin, a predominantly mesenchymal extracellular matrix (ECM) glycoprotein has a rather restricted tissue distribution, but until now factors that inhibit its expression have not been identified. Glucocorticoids are known to be beneficial for establishment of myelopoiesis in long-term bone marrow cultures. Tenascin was found to be expressed in the bone marrow, and glucocorticoids were found to affect bone marrow tenascin expression. Both tenascin mRNAs and the mRNA of another ECM protein, laminin B1 chain, were drastically downregulated by glucocorticoids during initiation of bone marrow cultures. However, in already established long-term cultures glucocorticoids did not affect laminin B1 chain mRNA levels although tenascin mRNAs continued to be downregulated. Studies with a stromal cell line (MC3T3-G2/PA6) and fibroblasts (3T3) suggested that glucocorticoids act directly on the stromal cells that produce tenascin. In 3T3 cells this downregulation occurred within 12 h of glucocorticoid-treatment, suggesting that glucocorticoids acted through cis regulatory elements of the tenascin gene. We suggest that glucocorticoids in part regulate hematopoiesis by modifying the ECM. Furthermore, downregulation of tenascin expression by glucocorticoids may in part explain the restricted tissue distribution of tenascin in other tissues.

This content is only available as a PDF.