A large number of functions have been demonstrated for tenascin-C by antibody perturbation assays and in vitro cell culture experiments. However, these results contrast sharply with the lack of any apparent phenotype in mice with a genetic deletion of tenascin-C. A possible explanation for the lack of phenotype would be expression of some altered but functional tenascin-C in the mutant. We report the generation of an independent tenascin-C null mouse and conclude that the original tenascin-C knockout, which is genetically very similar to ours, is also a true null. As found previously, the absence of tenascin-C has no influence on development, adulthood, life span, and fecundity. We have studied in detail two models of wound healing. After axotomy, the regeneration of the sciatic nerve is not altered without tenascin-C. During healing of cutaneous wounds, deposition of collagen I, fibulin-2, and nidogen is identical in mutant and wild-type mice. In contrast. fibronectin appears diminished in wounds of tenascin-C-deficient mice. However, the lack of tenascin-C together with the reduced amount of fibronectin has no influence on the quality of the healing process.
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