, Volume 332, Issue 3, pp 523-532,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 12 Mar 2008

Analysis of obstetric complications and uterine connective tissue in tenascin-X-deficient humans and mice


Tenascin-X (TNX) is a large, multi-domain, extracellular matrix glycoprotein. Complete deficiency of TNX in humans leads to a recessive form of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), and TNX haploinsufficiency is a cause of hypermobility type EDS. EDS patients appear to have a higher risk of several complications during pregnancy, such as pelvic instability, premature rupture of membranes, and postpartum hemorrhage. Here, we present a study of genitourinary and obstetric complications in TNX-deficient women of reproductive age. We have found complications, such as uterus prolapses, that are in agreement with previous findings in other EDS types. In TNX knockout (KO) mice, we have observed mild pregnancy-related abnormalities. Morphological and immunohistological analysis of uterine tissues has not revealed obvious quantitative or spatial differences between TNX KO and wildtype mice with respect to collagen types I, III, V, and XII or elastic fibers. We conclude that TNX-deficient women are at risk of obstetric complications, but that TNX KO mice show only a mild phenotype. Furthermore, we show that TNX is involved in the stability of elastic fibers rather than in their initial deposition.