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Retinoid Signalling in the Vertebrate Embryo

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image of Netherlands Journal of Zoology
For more content, see Archives Néerlandaises de Zoologie (Vol 1-17) and Animal Biology (Vol 53 and onwards).

Many findings indicate that active retinoids (vitamin A metabolites, which are known to be hormone-like ligands), are regulatory signals during embryogenesis. Treating early vertebrate embryos with retinoids can cause teratogenesis. Notably, it generates specific defects in the main body axis. Considering other data showing that early vertebrate embryos contain physiolocally relevant concentrations of endogenous active retinoids and express retinoid binding proteins and receptors, it is not unlikely that retinoids act as developmental signals, which regulate axial patterning in the early vertebrate embryo. The purpose of this review is to discuss this point, referring to retinoid teratogenesis, and to the availabilities and functions of retinoid ligands, biding proteins and receptors in the early embryo.

Affiliations: 1: Hubrecht Laboratory, Netherlands Institute for Developmental Biology, Uppsalalaan 8, 3584 CT Utrecht, The Netherlands


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