Effects of all-trans retinoic acid, retinol, and β-carotene on murine macrophage activity

Published on Thursday, 02 August 2018


Previous studies have demonstrated that vitamin A and carotenoids regulate immune function in lymphocytes and splenocytes, and that the carotenoid lutein regulates matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) production in macrophages.

In this study, we investigated the effects of all-trans retinoic acid (atRA, a bioactive vitamin A metabolite), retinol (vitamin A), and β-carotene (vitamin A precursor) on the activity of murine RAW264.7 and peritoneal macrophages.

Our results indicated that atRA and retinol could induce GM-CSF and IL-16 expression, whereas all these tested substances enhanced MMP-9 production. Interestingly, the expression of GM-CSF, IL-16, and MMP-9 was distinctly regulated by these three substances. AtRA and retinol affected GM-CSF and IL-16 expression mainly through RA receptor β (RARβ). However, atRA induced MMP-9 production was via RARα activation and retinol and β-carotene caused MMP-9 production via RARα and β activation.

These were supported by the observations that the RARα and β agonists/antagonists differentially affected MMP-9 production and that atRA and β-carotene enhanced RARE-mediated and MMP-9 promoter luciferase activity. In parallel, while the MMP-9 induction by atRA was not affected by the MAPKs inhibitors, its induction by retinol and β-carotene was repressed by the inhibitor targeting ERK1/2. Finally, we show that all the tested substances could functionally enhance macrophage phagocytosis.

Taken together, we provide evidence here for the first time that atRA, retinol, and β-carotene differentially regulate GM-CSF, IL-16, and MMP-9 production in macrophages, explaining at least in part why these vitamin A-related substances are beneficial for immunity.


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See also:

- All-Trans-Retinoic Acid (ATRA - analogues and/or derivatives);

- The Di Bella Method (A Fixed Part - All-Trans Retinoic Acid, Analogues and/or Derivatives);

- Solution of retinoids in vitamin E in the Di Bella Method biological multitherapy;

- The Di Bella Method (A Fixed Part - Alpha tocopheryl acetate/Vitamin E);

- The Di Bella Method DBM improved survival objective response and performance status in a retrospective observational clinical study on 23 tumours of the head and neck;

- Recurrent Glioblastoma Multiforme (grade IV – WHO 2007): a case of complete objective response achieved by means of the concomitant administration of Somatostatin and Octreotide – Retinoids – Vitamin E – Vitamin D3 – Vitamin C – Melatonin – D2 R agonists (Di Bella Method – DBM) associated with Temozolomide;

- Neuroblastoma: Complete objective response to biological treatment;

- Oesophageal squamocellular carcinoma: a complete and objective response.