Astroglia-derived retinoic acid is a key factor in glia-induced neurogenesis

Z. Környei, E. Gócza, R. Rühl, B. Orsolits, E. Vörös, B. Szabó, B. Vágovits, E. Madarász

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Astroglial cells are essential components of the neurogenic niches within the central nervous system. Emerging evidence suggests that they are among the key regulators of postnatal neurogenesis. Although astrocytes have been demonstrated to possess the potential to instruct stem cells to adopt a neuronal fate, little is known about the nature of the glia-derived instructive signals. Here we propose that all-trans retinoic acid, one of the most powerful morphogenic molecules regulating neuronal cell fate commitment, may be one of the glia-derived factors directing astroglia-induced neurogenesis. According to data obtained from several complementary approaches, we show that cultured astrocytes express the key enzyme mRNAs of retinoic acid biosynthesis and actively produce all-trans retinoic acid. We show that blockage of retinoic acid signaling by the pan-RAR antagonist AGN193109 prevents glia-induced neuron formation by noncommitted stem cells. Therefore, we provide strong in vitro evidence for retinoic acid action in astroglia-induced neuronal differentiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2496-2509
Number of pages14
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2007



  • Astrocyte
  • Neuronal differentiation
  • RA
  • Stem cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

Cite this

Környei, Z., Gócza, E., Rühl, R., Orsolits, B., Vörös, E., Szabó, B., Vágovits, B., & Madarász, E. (2007). Astroglia-derived retinoic acid is a key factor in glia-induced neurogenesis. FASEB Journal, 21(10), 2496-2509.