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Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 2004 Apr 7;123(1-2):7-17.

Expression of neurogranin and neuromodulin is affected in the striatum of vitamin A-deprived rats.

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Unité de Nutrition et Signalisation Cellulaire (EA MENRT; USC INRA) ISTAB, Université Bordeaux 1, Avenue des Facultés, Talence Cedex 33405, France.


Our previous data showed that vitamin A deficiency (VAD) induces, in whole brain, a reduced amount of mRNA for brain retinoic acid (RA) and triiodothyronine (T3) nuclear receptors (i.e., RAR, RXR, and TR, respectively), which is accompanied by reduced amounts of mRNA and protein of neurogranin (RC3, a neuronal protein involved in synaptic plasticity) as well as selective behavioral impairment. Given the important role of retinoids for optimal brain functioning, the effects of vitamin A depletion and subsequent administration of RA or T3 on the mRNA levels of RA and T3 nuclear receptors and on two target genes' (RC3 and neuromodulin or GAP43) mRNA and protein levels were examined in the hippocampus, striatum, and cerebral cortex. A quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), in situ hybridization, and Western blot analysis demonstrated that the striatal region is the brain site where both RA and T3 signaling pathways are most affected by VAD. Indeed, rats fed a vitamin A-free diet for 10 weeks exhibited decreased expression of RAR, RXR, TR, RC3, and GAP43 in the striatum. The administration of T3 to these vitamin A-deprived rats reversed the reduction in mRNA levels of RA and T3 nuclear receptors and in mRNA and protein levels of target genes in this region. These data suggest that modifications that appear preferentially in the striatum, a region highly sensitive to vitamin A bioavailability, may contribute to neurobiological alterations and the spatial learning impairment that occurs in vitamin A-deprived animals.

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