Retinoic acid signaling in vascular development

Genesis. 2019 Jul;57(7-8):e23287. doi: 10.1002/dvg.23287. Epub 2019 Mar 19.


Formation of the vasculature is an essential developmental process, delivering oxygen and nutrients to support cellular processes needed for tissue growth and maturation. Retinoic acid (RA) and its downstream signaling pathway is vital for normal pre- and post-natal development, playing key roles in the specification and formation of many organs and tissues. Here, we review the role of RA in blood and lymph vascular development, beginning with embryonic yolk sac vasculogenesis and remodeling and discussing RA's organ-specific roles in angiogenesis and vessel maturation. In particular, we highlight the multi-faceted role of RA signaling in CNS vascular development and acquisition of blood-brain barrier properties.

Keywords: CNS; angiogenesis; blood vasculature; embryonic development; endothelial cell; lymphatic vasculature; vasculogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Vessels / embryology
  • Blood Vessels / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Vessels / embryology
  • Lymphatic Vessels / metabolism*
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Tretinoin / metabolism*


  • Tretinoin