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Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2015;2015:140267. doi: 10.1155/2015/140267. Epub 2015 May 19.

Vitamin A and Retinoids as Mitochondrial Toxicants.

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Department of Chemistry, ICET, Federal University of Mato Grosso (UFMT), Avenida Fernando Correa da Costa, No. 2367, 78060-900 Cuiabá, MT, Brazil.


Vitamin A and its derivatives, the retinoids, are micronutrient necessary for the human diet in order to maintain several cellular functions from human development to adulthood and also through aging. Furthermore, vitamin A and retinoids are utilized pharmacologically in the treatment of some diseases, as, for instance, dermatological disturbances and some types of cancer. In spite of being an essential micronutrient with clinical application, vitamin A exerts several toxic effects regarding redox environment and mitochondrial function. Moreover, decreased life quality and increased mortality rates among vitamin A supplements users have been reported. However, the exact mechanism by which vitamin A elicits its deleterious effects is not clear yet. In this review, the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in the mechanism of vitamin A-induced toxicity is discussed.

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