Reiterative Mechanisms of Retinoic Acid Signaling during Vertebrate Heart Development.


The Heart Institute and Division of Molecular Cardiovascular Biology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH 45229, USA. [Email]


Tightly-regulated levels of retinoic acid (RA) are critical for promoting normal vertebrate development. The extensive history of research on RA has shown that its proper regulation is essential for cardiac progenitor specification and organogenesis. Here, we discuss the roles of RA signaling and its establishment of networks that drive both early and later steps of normal vertebrate heart development. We focus on studies that highlight the drastic effects alternative levels of RA have on early cardiomyocyte (CM) specification and cardiac chamber morphogenesis, consequences of improper RA synthesis and degradation, and known effectors downstream of RA. We conclude with the implications of these findings to our understanding of cardiac regeneration and the etiologies of congenital heart defects.


cardiac progenitors,heart development,morphogen,patterning,retinoic acid,teratogenesis,transcriptional regulation,