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Arch Dermatol Res. 2000 Dec;292(12):612-20.

Biological effects and metabolism of 9-cis-retinoic acid and its metabolite 9,13-di-cis-retinoic acid in HaCaT keratinocytes in vitro: comparison with all-trans-retinoic acid.

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Department of Dermatology, University Medical Center Benjamin Franklin, The Free University of Berlin, Germany.


9-cis-Retinoic acid (9cRA), a geometric isomer of all-trans-retinoic acid (atRA), is an endogenous high-affinity ligand for retinoid X receptors and retinoic acid receptors activating them with high potency. 9,13-di-cis-Retinoic acid (9,13dcRA) has been described as a major plasma metabolite of 9cRA. In this study, the biological activity and the metabolism of 9cRA and 9,13dcRA were investigated and compared with those of atRA in a retinol-free culture system of HaCaT keratinocytes. 9cRA exhibited a slightly weaker activity overall than atRA in inhibiting cell proliferation, inducing cellular retinoic acid binding protein II (CRABP II) mRNA levels and upregulating cytokeratin 19 expression. 9,13dcRA regulated HaCaT keratinocyte activity only at the highest concentration tested (10(-6) M). In cultures of HaCaT keratinocytes with atRA and 9cRA, rapid intracellular accumulation of atRA was observed within 2 h, and atRA levels were higher with atRA treatment than with 9cRA treatment. 9,13dcRA remained relatively stable in the medium with intracellular 9,13dcRA levels below the level of detection. Taken together, 9cRA seems to be slightly less potent than atRA in regulating the biological activity of HaCaT keratinocytes, while its metabolite 9,13dcRA is effectively inactive at biologically relevant concentrations. Our data suggest a prodrug/drug relationship between 9cRA and atRA in human keratinocytes. 9,13dcRA seems to be a weaker prodrug of atRA or an inactive metabolic derivative.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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