Effects of retinoic acid and TGF-beta 1 on the proliferation and melanin synthesis in chick retinal pigment epithelial cells in vitro

Curr Eye Res. 1998 May;17(5):483-6. doi: 10.1076/ceyr.17.5.483.5192.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of all-trans retinoic acid (RA) and transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-beta 1) on proliferation and melanin synthesis of chick retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells in vitro.

Methods: Chick RPE cells were cultured in the presence or absence of RA (10(-5) to 10(-7) M) or TGF-beta 1 (1 to 100 U/ml) for a 10-day period. The effects of RA and TGF-beta 1 on RPE cell proliferation were assessed by counting the number of cells, and their effects on melanin synthesis were evaluated by measuring the melanin content in the cells.

Results: RA significantly inhibited RPE cell proliferation in a time-dependent manner. The most marked inhibition was observed on day 10 of culture, and the most effective concentration of RA was 10(-6) M. Melanin synthesis was increased on day 10, and the most effective concentration of RA was also 10(-6) M. TGF-beta 1 also inhibited RPE cell proliferation and increased melanin synthesis.

Conclusions: These findings indicate that RA and TGF-beta 1 have regulatory effects on the proliferation and differentiation of chick RPE cells in vitro.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Count
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chick Embryo
  • Melanins / biosynthesis*
  • Pigment Epithelium of Eye / cytology
  • Pigment Epithelium of Eye / drug effects*
  • Pigment Epithelium of Eye / metabolism
  • Time Factors
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / pharmacology*
  • Tretinoin / pharmacology*


  • Melanins
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Tretinoin