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Endocrinology. 1992 Jul;131(1):344-40.

Changes in retinoic acid receptor messenger ribonucleic acid levels in the vitamin A-deficient rat testis after administration of retinoids.

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Department of Cell Biology, Medical School, State University of Utrecht, The Netherlands.


Recently, we have reported that retinoic acid (RA), similarly to retinol acetate, is able to reinitiate spermatogenesis in vitamin A-deficient rats. Here, we investigated the expression of RA receptors RAR alpha, RAR beta, RAR gamma, and retinoid X receptor RXR alpha by Northern blot analysis of poly(A)+ RNA of testes of vitamin A-deficient rats before and after reinitiation of spermatogenesis induced by injection of retinol acetate or RA and testes of 21-day-old and 10-week-old normal rats. In the testis of vitamin A-deficient rats 1.9-, 2.8-, and 3.8-kilobase (kb) transcripts of RAR alpha; 2.8- and 3.3-kb transcripts of RAR beta; 1.8-, 2.8-, and 3.4-kb transcripts of RAR gamma; and two transcripts of RXR alpha of 2.5 and 4.8 kb are expressed. When vitamin A-deficient rats receive RA or retinol acetate, a 3-fold increase in the amount of poly(A)+ RNA per testis can be observed after 8 h, while the amounts of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase and sulfated glycoprotein-1 mRNA hardly change. Also, the expression of several transcripts of each RAR type is significantly increased from 1.8- up to 3.6-fold. Moreover, additional transcripts of RAR beta and RXR alpha (1.8 and 1.0 kb, respectively) can be detected. In the testes of 21-day-old rats, three transcripts of each RAR type and two RXR alpha transcripts are expressed. In contrast, in the normal adult rat testis the expression of all RARs, if present, is lower than that in the 21-day-old rat testis or the adult vitamin A-deficient rat testis. The expression of all transcripts of each RAR in the testis of 21-day-old rats shows great similarity with the expression in the testis of the vitamin A-deficient rat after replacement of retinol acetate or RA. These changes in expression indicate that RARs and RXR alpha may play a role in the process of proliferation and differentiation of A spermatogonia, which is induced in vitamin A-deficient rats shortly after replacement of RA or retinol acetate.

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