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Acta Biochim Pol. 2011;58(1):19-29. Epub 2011 Mar 16.

Expression of cellular retinoic acid-binding protein I and II (CRABP I and II) in embryonic mouse hearts treated with retinoic acid.

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Department of Pathological Anatomy, Medical University of Warsaw, Warszawa, Poland.


Cellular retinoic acid binding proteins are considered to be involved in retinoic acid (RA) signaling pathways. Our aim was to compare the expression and localization of cellular retinoic acid binding proteins I and II (CRABP I and II) in embryonic mouse hearts during normal development and after a single teratogenic dose of RA. Techniques such as real-time PCR, RT-PCR, Western blots and immunostaining were employed to examine hearts from embryos at 9-17 dpc. RA treatment at 8.5dpc affects production of CRABP I and II in the heart in the 48-h period. Changes in expression of mRNA for retinaldehyde dehydrogenase II (Raldh2), Crabp1 and Crabp2 genes also occur within the same time window (i.e. 10-11dpc) after RA treatment. In the embryonic control heart these proteins are localized in groups of cells within the outflow tract (OT), and the atrioventricular endocardial cushions. A gradient of labeling is observed with CRABP II but not for CRABP I along the myocardium of the looped heart at 11 dpc; this gradient is abolished in hearts treated with RA, whereas an increase of RALDH2 staining has been observed at 10 dpc in RA-treated hearts. Some populations of endocardial endothelial cells were intensively stained with anti-CRABP II whereas CRABP I was negative in these structures. These results suggest that CRABP I and II are independently regulated during heart development, playing different roles in RA signaling, essential for early remodeling of the heart tube and alignment of the great arteries to their respective ventricles.

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