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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Differential distribution of retinoic acid synthesis in the chicken embryo as determined by immunolocalization of the retinoic acid synthetic enzyme, RALDH-2.

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 discrete patterns of retinoic acid synthesis in the embryo, particularly within the somitic mesoderm, lateral mesoderm, kidney, heart, and spinal motor neurons. Prior to somitogenesis, RALDH-2-IR is present in the paraxial mesoderm with a rostral boundary at the level of the presumptive first somite; as the somites form, they exhibit strong RALDH-2-IR. Cervical presomitic mesoderm exhibits RALDH-2-IR but thoracic presomitic mesoderm does not. Neural crest cells do not express detectable levels of RALDH-2, but migrating crest cells are associated with RALDH-2 expressing mesoderm. The developing limb mesoderm expresses little RALDH-2-IR; however, RALDH-2-IR is strongly expressed in tissues adjacent to the limb. The most lateral, earliest-projecting motor neurons at all levels of the spinal cord exhibit RALDH-2-IR. Subsequently, many additional motor neurons in the brachial and lumbar cord regions express RALDH-2-IR. Motor neuronal expression of RALDH-2-IR is present in the growing axons as they extend to the periphery, indicating a potential role of retinoic acid in nerve influences on peripheral differentiation. With the exception of a transient expression in the facial/vestibulocochlear nucleus, cranial motor neurons do not express detectable levels of RALDH-2-IR.[1]


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