Indexed on: 16 May '08Published on: 16 May '08Published in: Journal of Cell Communication and Signaling
The six proteins of the CCN family have important roles in development, angiogenesis, cell motility, proliferation, and other fundamental cell processes. To date, CCN5 distribution in developing rodents and humans has not been mapped comprehensively. CCN5 strongly inhibits adult smooth muscle cell proliferation and motility. Its anti-proliferative action predicts that CCN5 would not be present in developing tissues until the proliferation phase of tissue morphogenesis is complete. However, estrogen induces CCN5 expression in epithelial and smooth muscle cells, suggesting that CCN5 might be widely expressed in embryonic tissues exposed to high levels of estrogen. 9-16 day murine embryos and fetuses and 3-7 month human fetal tissues were analyzed by immunohistochemistry. CCN5 was detected in nearly all developing tissues. CCN5 protein expression was initially present in most tissues, and at later times in development tissue-specific expression differences were observed. CCN5 expression was particularly strong in vascular tissues, cardiac muscle, bronchioles, myotendinous junctions, and intestinal smooth muscle and epithelium. CCN5 expression was initially absent in bone cartilaginous forms but was increasingly expressed during bone endochondral ossification. Widespread CCN5 mRNA expression was detected in GD14.5 mice. Although CCN2 and CCN5 protein expression patterns in some adult pathologic conditions are inversely expressed, this expression pattern was not found in developing mouse and human tissues. The widespread expression pattern of CCN5 in most embryonic and fetal tissues suggests a diverse range of functions for CCN5.