Peter J. A. McCaffery

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The key role of vitamin A in embryonal development is reviewed. Special emphasis is given to the physiological action of retinoids, as evident from the retinoid ligand knockout models. Retinoid metabolism in embryonic tissues and teratogenic consequences of retinoid administration at high doses are presented. Physiological and pharmacological actions of(More)
Retinaldehyde dehydrogenase type 2 (RALDH-2) was identified as a major retinoic acid generating enzyme in the early embryo. Here we report the expression domains of the RALDH-2 gene during mouse embryogenesis, which are likely to indicate regions of endogenous retinoic acid (RA) synthesis. During early gastrulation, RALDH-2 is expressed in the mesoderm(More)
Retinoic acid (RA) is an essential growth factor, derived from vitamin A, which controls growth by activating specific receptors that are members of the nuclear receptor family of transcriptional regulators. Its function in control of growth and differentiation in the embryonic CNS has been extensively investigated, but a role for RA in the mature brain has(More)
Retinaldehyde dehydrogenase type 2 (RALDH-2) is a major retinoic acid generating enzyme in the early embryo. Here we report the immunolocalization of this enzyme (RALDH-2-IR) in stage 6-29 chicken embryos; we also show that tissues that exhibit strong RALDH-2-IR in the embryo contain RALDH-2 and synthesize retinoic acid. RALDH-2-IR indicates dynamic and(More)
The active component of the acne drug Accutane is 13-cis-retinoic acid (RA), and it is highly teratogenic for the developing central nervous system. Very little is known, however, regarding the effect of this drug on the adult brain. Regions of the brain that may be susceptible to RA are those that continue to generate new neurons. In the adult mouse,(More)
Retinoic acid, a developmental signal implicated in the formation of the neural axis, is present at high levels in the early embryonic trunk region, where it is synthesized by a novel dehydrogenase. Here we show that the same enzyme is inducible by retinoic acid in P19 teratocarcinoma cells, and we report the cloning from P19 cells of a cDNA encoding a(More)
Retinoic acid (RA) is essential for both embryonic and adult growth, activating gene transcription via specific nuclear receptors. It is generated, via a retinaldehyde intermediate, from retinol (vitamin A). RA levels require precise regulation by controlled synthesis and catabolism, and when RA concentrations deviate from normal, in either direction,(More)
An aldehyde dehydrogenase present at high levels in the dorsal retina of the embryonic and adult mouse was identified as the isoform AHD-2 known to oxidize retinaldehyde to retinoic acid. Comparative estimates of retinoic acid levels with a reporter cell line placed the retinas among the richest tissues in the entire body of the early embryo; levels in(More)
Current models of affective disorders implicate alterations in norepinephrine, serotonin, dopamine, and CRF/cortisol; however treatments targeted at these neurotransmitters or hormones have led to imperfect resolution of symptoms, suggesting that the neurobiology of affective disorders is incompletely understood. Until now retinoids have not been considered(More)
Retinoic acid (RA) has been implicated in cardiac morphogenesis by its teratogenic effects on the heart, although its role in normal cardiogenesis remains unknown. To define the parameters of RA action in cardiac morphogenesis, we analyzed the patterns of ligand synthesis, response, and inactivation in the developing mouse heart. Activation of a lacZ(More)