Indexed on: 16 May '08Published on: 16 May '08Published in: Journal of Cell Communication and Signaling
CCN5 is a secreted heparin- and estrogen-regulated matricellular protein that inhibits vertebrate smooth muscle cell proliferation and motility. CCN5 is expressed throughout murine embryonic development in most organs and tissues. However, after embryonic development is complete, we hypothesized that CCN5 distribution would be largely restricted to small set of tissues, including smooth muscle cells of the arteries, uterus, airway, and digestive tract. Because CCN5 inhibits proliferation of smooth muscle cells in vitro, it might function to prevent excessive growth in vivo. In contrast, another member of the CCN family, CCN2, promotes smooth muscle cell proliferation in vitro, and thus it was expected that its expression levels would be low in uninjured normal adult tissues. Frozen sections from adult tissues and organs were analyzed immunohistochemically using anti-CCN5 and anti-CCN2 antibodies. Both proteins were detected in arteries, the uterus, bronchioles, and the digestive tract as expected, and also in many other tissues including the pancreas, spleen, liver, skeletal muscle, ovary, testis, thymus, brain, olfactory epithelium, and kidney. CCN5 and CCN2 protein was found in smooth muscle, endothelial cells, epithelial cells, skeletal muscle, cells of the nervous system, and numerous other cell types. In many cells, both CCN5 and CCN2 was present in the nucleus. Rather than having opposite patterns of localization, CCN5 and CCN2 often had similar sites of expression. The wide distribution of both CCN5 and CCN2 suggests that both proteins have additional biological functions beyond those previously identified in specific cellular and pathological models.