Author(s): Ross SA, McCaffery PJ, Drager UC, De Luca LM
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Abstract The key role of vitamin A in embryonal development is reviewed. Special emphasis is given to the physiological action of retinoids, as evident from the retinoid ligand knockout models. Retinoid metabolism in embryonic tissues and teratogenic consequences of retinoid administration at high doses are presented. Physiological and pharmacological actions of retinoids are outlined and explained on the basis of their interactions as ligands of the nuclear retinoid receptors. Immediate target genes and the retinoid response elements of their promoters are summarized. The fundamental role of homeobox genes in embryonal development and the actions of retinoids on their expression are discussed. The similarity of the effects of retinoid ligand knockouts to effects of compound retinoid receptor knockouts on embryogenesis is presented. Although much remains to be clarified, the emerging landscape offers exciting views for future research.
This article was published in Physiol Rev
and referenced in Biological Systems: Open Access