Recent data have revealed that disruption of vitamin A signaling observed in Alzheimer's disease (AD) leads to a deposition of beta-amyloid (Abeta). The aim of this study was to precise the role of vitamin A and its nuclear receptors (RAR) in the processes leading to the Abeta deposits. Thus, the effect of vitamin A depletion and subsequent administration of retinoic acid (RA, the active metabolite of vitamin A) on the expression of RARbeta, and of proteins involved in amyloidogenic pathway, e.g., amyloid precursor protein (APP), beta-secretase enzyme (BACE), and APP carboxy-terminal fragment (APP-CTF) was examined in the whole brain, hippocampus, striatum, and cerebral cortex of rats. Rats fed a vitamin A-deprived diet for 13 weeks exhibited decreased amount of RARbeta, APP695, BACE, and of APP-CTF in the whole brain and in the cerebral cortex. Administration of RA is able to restore all expression. The results suggest that fine regulation of vitamin A mediated gene expression seems fundamental for the regulation of APP processing.