Differential expression of SPARC and thrombospondin 1 in wound repair: Immunolocalization and in situ hybridization

M. J. Reed, P. Puolakkainen, Timothy F Lane, D. Dickerson, P. Bornstein, E. H. Sage*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


SPARC and thrombospondin 1 (TSP-1) are secreted glycoproteins expressed by similar types of cells in culture and in tissues. To compare these two proteins in vivo, we analyzed the differential expression of SPARC and TSP-1 during wound repair. Full-thickness incision wounds were made in rats and biopsied at 12 hr-14 days. Antibodies against SPARC revealed an increased proportion of immunoreactive fibroblastic cells at the wound edge at 3 days with maximal numbers at 7 days. In situ hybridization for SPARC produced results consistent with those of immunohistochemistry. With combined immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization, some of the macrophages at the wound edge expressed SPARC mRNA. In contrast, immunoreactivity for TSP-1 was extracellular; expression at the wound edge was noted at 12 hr and was maximal at 1-2 days. TSP-1 mRNA was found in the thrombus, but not at the wound edge. In conclusion, SPARC and TSP-1 have contrasting roles during wound healing. SPARC expression from the middle through late stages of repair was consistent with its previously proposed functions in remodeling; in contrast, the transient expression of TSP-1 early in repair might facilitate the action of other proteins in recruitment and/or proliferation of cells in the healing wound.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1467-1477
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1993


  • Dermis
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Injury
  • Type I collagen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology


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