Talk:Developmental Signals - Retinoic acid
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Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2020, October 27) Embryology Developmental Signals - Retinoic acid. Retrieved from https://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php/Talk:Developmental_Signals_-_Retinoic_acid
Retinoic Acid and Germ Cell Development in the Ovary and Testis
Retinoic acid (RA), a derivative of vitamin A, is critical for the production of oocytes and sperm in mammals. These gametes derive from primordial germ cells, which colonize the nascent gonad, and later undertake sexual differentiation to produce oocytes or sperm. During fetal development, germ cells in the ovary initiate meiosis in response to RA, whereas those in the testis do not yet initiate meiosis, as they are insulated from RA, and undergo cell cycle arrest. After birth, male germ cells resume proliferation and undergo a transition to spermatogonia, which are destined to develop into haploid spermatozoa via spermatogenesis. Recent findings indicate that RA levels change periodically in adult testes to direct not only meiotic initiation, but also other key developmental transitions to ensure that spermatogenesis is precisely organized for the prodigious output of sperm. This review focuses on how female and male germ cells develop in the ovary and testis, respectively, and the role of RA in this process. KEYWORDS: germ cells; meiosis; ovary; retinoic acid; spermatogenesis; testis PMID: 31771306 PMCID: PMC6995559 DOI: 10.3390/biom9120775
Spermatogenesis: The Commitment to Meiosis
Physiol Rev. 2016 Jan;96(1):1-17. doi: 10.1152/physrev.00013.2015.
Griswold MD1. Author information Abstract Mammalian spermatogenesis requires a stem cell pool, a period of amplification of cell numbers, the completion of reduction division to haploid cells (meiosis), and the morphological transformation of the haploid cells into spermatozoa (spermiogenesis). The net result of these processes is the production of massive numbers of spermatozoa over the reproductive lifetime of the animal. One study that utilized homogenization-resistant spermatids as the standard determined that human daily sperm production (dsp) was at 45 million per day per testis (60). For each human that means ∼1,000 sperm are produced per second. A key to this level of gamete production is the organization and architecture of the mammalian testes that results in continuous sperm production. The seemingly complex repetitious relationship of cells termed the "cycle of the seminiferous epithelium" is driven by the continuous commitment of undifferentiated spermatogonia to meiosis and the period of time required to form spermatozoa. This commitment termed the A to A1 transition requires the action of retinoic acid (RA) on the undifferentiated spermatogonia or prospermatogonia. In stages VII to IX of the cycle of the seminiferous epithelium, Sertoli cells and germ cells are influenced by pulses of RA. These pulses of RA move along the seminiferous tubules coincident with the spermatogenic wave, presumably undergoing constant synthesis and degradation. The RA pulse then serves as a trigger to commit undifferentiated progenitor cells to the rigidly timed pathway into meiosis and spermatid differentiation. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society. PMID: 26537427 PMCID: PMC4698398 DOI: 10.1152/physrev.00013.2015
Cyp26 Enzymes Facilitate Second Heart Field Progenitor Addition and Maintenance of Ventricular Integrity
PLoS Biol. 2016 Nov 28;14(11):e2000504. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.2000504. eCollection 2016.
Rydeen AB1,2, Waxman JS1.
Although retinoic acid (RA) teratogenicity has been investigated for decades, the mechanisms underlying RA-induced outflow tract (OFT) malformations are not understood. Here, we show zebrafish embryos deficient for Cyp26a1 and Cyp26c1 enzymes, which promote RA degradation, have OFT defects resulting from two mechanisms: first, a failure of second heart field (SHF) progenitors to join the OFT, instead contributing to the pharyngeal arch arteries (PAAs), and second, a loss of first heart field (FHF) ventricular cardiomyocytes due to disrupted cell polarity and extrusion from the heart tube. Molecularly, excess RA signaling negatively regulates fibroblast growth factor 8a (fgf8a) expression and positively regulates matrix metalloproteinase 9 (mmp9) expression. Although restoring Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling can partially rescue SHF addition in Cyp26 deficient embryos, attenuating matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) function can rescue both ventricular SHF addition and FHF integrity. These novel findings indicate a primary effect of RA-induced OFT defects is disruption of the extracellular environment, which compromises both SHF recruitment and FHF ventricular integrity. PMID 27893754 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.2000504
Retinoic acid signaling and neuronal differentiation
Cell Mol Life Sci. 2015 Jan 6. [Epub ahead of print]
Janesick A1, Wu SC, Blumberg B.
The identification of neurological symptoms caused by vitamin A deficiency pointed to a critical, early developmental role of vitamin A and its metabolite, retinoic acid (RA). The ability of RA to induce post-mitotic, neural phenotypes in various stem cells, in vitro, served as early evidence that RA is involved in the switch between proliferation and differentiation. In vivo studies have expanded this "opposing signal" model, and the number of primary neurons an embryo develops is now known to depend critically on the levels and spatial distribution of RA. The proneural and neurogenic transcription factors that control the exit of neural progenitors from the cell cycle and allow primary neurons to develop are partly elucidated, but the downstream effectors of RA receptor (RAR) signaling (many of which are putative cell cycle regulators) remain largely unidentified. The molecular mechanisms underlying RA-induced primary neurogenesis in anamniote embryos are starting to be revealed; however, these data have been not been extended to amniote embryos. There is growing evidence that bona fide RARs are found in some mollusks and other invertebrates, but little is known about their necessity or functions in neurogenesis. One normal function of RA is to regulate the cell cycle to halt proliferation, and loss of RA signaling is associated with dedifferentiation and the development of cancer. Identifying the genes and pathways that mediate cell cycle exit downstream of RA will be critical for our understanding of how to target tumor differentiation. Overall, elucidating the molecular details of RAR-regulated neurogenesis will be decisive for developing and understanding neural proliferation-differentiation switches throughout development.
Visualization of an endogenous retinoic acid gradient across embryonic development
Nature. 2013 Apr 18;496(7445):363-6. doi: 10.1038/nature12037. Epub 2013 Apr 7.
Shimozono S, Iimura T, Kitaguchi T, Higashijima S, Miyawaki A. Source Laboratory for Cell Function Dynamics, Brain Science Institute, RIKEN, 2-1 Hirosawa, Wako-city, Saitama 351-0198, Japan.
In vertebrate development, the body plan is determined by primordial morphogen gradients that suffuse the embryo. Retinoic acid (RA) is an important morphogen involved in patterning the anterior-posterior axis of structures, including the hindbrain and paraxial mesoderm. RA diffuses over long distances, and its activity is spatially restricted by synthesizing and degrading enzymes. However, gradients of endogenous morphogens in live embryos have not been directly observed; indeed, their existence, distribution and requirement for correct patterning remain controversial. Here we report a family of genetically encoded indicators for RA that we have termed GEPRAs (genetically encoded probes for RA). Using the principle of fluorescence resonance energy transfer we engineered the ligand-binding domains of RA receptors to incorporate cyan-emitting and yellow-emitting fluorescent proteins as fluorescence resonance energy transfer donor and acceptor, respectively, for the reliable detection of ambient free RA. We created three GEPRAs with different affinities for RA, enabling the quantitative measurement of physiological RA concentrations. Live imaging of zebrafish embryos at the gastrula and somitogenesis stages revealed a linear concentration gradient of endogenous RA in a two-tailed source-sink arrangement across the embryo. Modelling of the observed linear RA gradient suggests that the rate of RA diffusion exceeds the spatiotemporal dynamics of embryogenesis, resulting in stability to perturbation. Furthermore, we used GEPRAs in combination with genetic and pharmacological perturbations to resolve competing hypotheses on the structure of the RA gradient during hindbrain formation and somitogenesis. Live imaging of endogenous concentration gradients across embryonic development will allow the precise assignment of molecular mechanisms to developmental dynamics and will accelerate the application of approaches based on morphogen gradients to tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.
Retinoic Acid signalling and the control of meiotic entry in the human fetal gonad
PLoS One. 2011;6(6):e20249. Epub 2011 Jun 3.
Childs AJ, Cowan G, Kinnell HL, Anderson RA, Saunders PT. Source Medical Research Council Human Reproductive Sciences Unit, The Queen's Medical Research Institute, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom.
The development of mammalian fetal germ cells along oogenic or spermatogenic fate trajectories is dictated by signals from the surrounding gonadal environment. Germ cells in the fetal testis enter mitotic arrest, whilst those in the fetal ovary undergo sex-specific entry into meiosis, the initiation of which is thought to be mediated by selective exposure of fetal ovarian germ cells to mesonephros-derived retinoic acid (RA). Aspects of this model are hard to reconcile with the spatiotemporal pattern of germ cell differentiation in the human fetal ovary, however. We have therefore examined the expression of components of the RA synthesis, metabolism and signalling pathways, and their downstream effectors and inhibitors in germ cells around the time of the initiation of meiosis in the human fetal gonad. Expression of the three RA-synthesising enzymes, ALDH1A1, 2 and 3 in the fetal ovary and testis was equal to or greater than that in the mesonephros at 8-9 weeks gestation, indicating an intrinsic capacity within the gonad to synthesise RA. Using immunohistochemistry to detect RA receptors RARα, β and RXRα, we find germ cells to be the predominant target of RA signalling in the fetal human ovary, but also reveal widespread receptor nuclear localization indicative of signalling in the testis, suggesting that human fetal testicular germ cells are not efficiently shielded from RA by the action of the RA-metabolising enzyme CYP26B1. Consistent with this, expression of CYP26B1 was greater in the human fetal ovary than testis, although the sexually-dimorphic expression patterns of the germ cell-intrinsic regulators of meiotic initiation, STRA8 and NANOS2, appear conserved. Finally, we demonstrate that RA induces a two-fold increase in STRA8 expression in cultures of human fetal testis, but is not sufficient to cause widespread meiosis-associated gene expression. Together, these data indicate that while local production of RA within the fetal ovary may be important in regulating the onset of meiosis in the human fetal ovary, mechanisms other than CYP26B1-mediated metabolism of RA may exist to inhibit the entry of germ cells into meiosis in the human fetal testis.
PMID: 21674038 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21674038
Retinoic acid functions as a key GABAergic differentiation signal in the basal ganglia
PLoS Biol. 2011 Apr;9(4):e1000609. Epub 2011 Apr 12. Chatzi C, Brade T, Duester G. Source Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, Development and Aging Program, La Jolla, California, United States of America.
Although retinoic acid (RA) has been implicated as an extrinsic signal regulating forebrain neurogenesis, the processes regulated by RA signaling remain unclear. Here, analysis of retinaldehyde dehydrogenase mutant mouse embryos lacking RA synthesis demonstrates that RA generated by Raldh3 in the subventricular zone of the basal ganglia is required for GABAergic differentiation, whereas RA generated by Raldh2 in the meninges is unnecessary for development of the adjacent cortex. Neurospheres generated from the lateral ganglionic eminence (LGE), where Raldh3 is highly expressed, produce endogenous RA, which is required for differentiation to GABAergic neurons. In Raldh3⁻/⁻ embryos, LGE progenitors fail to differentiate into either GABAergic striatal projection neurons or GABAergic interneurons migrating to the olfactory bulb and cortex. We describe conditions for RA treatment of human embryonic stem cells that result in efficient differentiation to a heterogeneous population of GABAergic interneurons without the appearance of GABAergic striatal projection neurons, thus providing an in vitro method for generation of GABAergic interneurons for further study. Our observation that endogenous RA is required for generation of LGE-derived GABAergic neurons in the basal ganglia establishes a key role for RA signaling in development of the forebrain.
RDH10 is essential for synthesis of embryonic retinoic acid and is required for limb, craniofacial, and organ development
Genes Dev. 2007 May 1;21(9):1113-24.
Sandell LL, Sanderson BW, Moiseyev G, Johnson T, Mushegian A, Young K, Rey JP, Ma JX, Staehling-Hampton K, Trainor PA. Source Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Kansas City, Missouri 64110, USA. Abstract Regulation of patterning and morphogenesis during embryonic development depends on tissue-specific signaling by retinoic acid (RA), the active form of Vitamin A (retinol). The first enzymatic step in RA synthesis, the oxidation of retinol to retinal, is thought to be carried out by the ubiquitous or overlapping activities of redundant alcohol dehydrogenases. The second oxidation step, the conversion of retinal to RA, is performed by retinaldehyde dehydrogenases. Thus, the specific spatiotemporal distribution of retinoid synthesis is believed to be controlled exclusively at the level of the second oxidation reaction. In an N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU)-induced forward genetic screen we discovered a new midgestation lethal mouse mutant, called trex, which displays craniofacial, limb, and organ abnormalities. The trex phenotype is caused by a mutation in the short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase, RDH10. Using protein modeling, enzymatic assays, and mutant embryos, we determined that RDH10(trex) mutant protein lacks the ability to oxidize retinol to retinal, resulting in insufficient RA signaling. Thus, we show that the first oxidative step of Vitamin A metabolism, which is catalyzed in large part by the retinol dehydrogenase RDH10, is critical for the spatiotemporal synthesis of RA. Furthermore, these results identify a new nodal point in RA metabolism during embryogenesis.
Loss of RA Signaling
Oikopleura dioica, which is an anomaly among chordates. It has retained the fundamental body plan of the chordate; yet, it has lost the mechanism for retinoic acid signaling which operates during chordate development. Holland, Linda Z. "Developmental biology: A chordate with a difference." Nature 447.1 (2007): 153-55.