Tenascin-C (Tn-C) is an extracellular matrix protein with growth-, invasive-, and angiogenesis-promoting activities. Tn-C is upregulated during wound healing, tumorigenesis, and other pathological conditions. Highly malignant gliomas with poor prognosis exhibit high levels of Tn-C expression. Here we demonstrate that Tn-C RNA expression in glioma C6 cells is inhibited in a dose-dependent manner by retinoic acid (RA) and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25-D3). No additive or synergistic effects were found. Inhibition is maximum 24 hr after RA or 1,25-D3 treatment, prior to a delayed cytotoxic effect starting at day 4-5 of treatment, and correlates with a reduction in the synthesis of Tn-C protein. Tn-C expression is also inhibited, but to a lesser extent by prostaglandin D2 (PGD2). Furthermore, both RA and 1,25-D3, but not PGD2 abolish the induction of Tn-C by the tumor promoter 12-O-tetradecanoyl phorbol 13-acetate. The inhibition of Tn-C expression might be relevant for the anti-cancer activity of RA and 1,25-D3.