Effect of retinoids on fetal lung development in the rat

Hisashi Masuyama, Yuji Hiramatsu, Takafumi Kudo

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29 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated the effect of retinoids on fetal lung development in the rat. The concentration of retinyl palmitate increased rapidly to a peak on day 17 of gestation and decreased to a minimum on day 21 of gestation; there was a slight increase after birth. Retinoid acid receptor (RAR)-α and -β mRNA were detected in all samples obtained from perinatal and adult rat lung, and only a trace of RAR-γ mRNA was detected in the fetuses on days 15, 17 and 19 of gestation and in the adults by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. After a maternal retinol deficiency of 28 days' duration, fetal body and lung weights were significantly lower than those of controls; the concentrations of retinyl palmitate and phosphatidylcholine (PC) in the lung after a maternal retinol deficiency of 14,21 or 28 days were significantly lower than those of controls. Expression of RAR-β mRNA in the group with 28-day retinol deficiency was lower than in controls, that of RAR-α mRNA was increased and that of RAR-γ mRNA was not influenced by retinol deficiency. The rate of choline incorporation into PC in fetal lung explants was significantly higher in the group treated with retinoic acid (RA) than in controls. RA enhanced the effect of epidermal growth factor on choline incorporation and prevented that of dexamethasone. In conclusion, storage of retinoids occurs and all three types of RAR mRNA are expressed during fetal lung growth and development, and as retinoids exert both a direct and an indirect effect on choline incoporation in fetal rat lung, we think that they may be one of the factors controlling fetal lung development in this species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-273
Number of pages10
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • Fetal lung development
  • Phosphatidylcholine
  • Retinoid acid receptor
  • Retinol Retinoic acid
  • Retinol deficiency
  • Retinyl palmitate
  • Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental Biology


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