Zweers MC, Peeters AC, Graafsma S, Kranendonk S, van der Vliet JA, den Heijer M, Schalkwijk J
Tenascin-X is a large extracellular matrix protein that is abundantly expressed in several connective tissues. A 140-kDa C-terminal fragment of tenascin-X is present in human serum. Complete deficiency of tenascin-X is associated with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, and these patients show major connective tissue alterations in their skin, as well as blood vessel fragility. In this study, we investigated whether tenascin-X is present in normal human aorta and abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) tissues and whether an association exists between serum tenascin-X levels and AAA.
METHODS AND RESULTS:
Five normal aortas and 5 AAA tissues were immunostained for tenascin-X and elastin. Tenascin-X was present throughout the entire aorta and was especially abundant near the elastic lamellae, whereas tenascin-X expression was strongly decreased in AAA tissue. Measurement of tenascin-X serum concentration by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in 87 AAA patients and 86 controls demonstrated an increasing risk for AAA with increasing tenascin-X serum concentrations. After adjustment for established risk factors, tenascin-X serum concentrations in the highest quartile were associated with a 5-fold increase in risk of AAA (odds ratio, 5.3; 95% confidence interval, 2.0 to 13.8).
Tenascin-X expression is markedly decreased in AAA tissue, and AAA is associated with high serum concentrations of tenascin-X.
Nijmegen Centre for Molecular Life Sciences
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