Retinoic acid treatment increases lipid oxidation capacity in skeletal muscle of mice

Jaume Amengual, Joan Ribot, M. Luisa Bonet, Andreu Palou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective:All-trans retinoic acid (ATRA), a carboxylic form of vitamin A, favors in mice a mobilization of body fat reserves that correlates with an increment of oxidative and thermogenic capacity in adipose tissues. The objective of this study has been to investigate the effect of ATRA treatment on skeletal muscle capacity for fatty-acid catabolism.Methods and Procedures:Tissue composition and gene expression related to lipid and oxidative metabolism were analyzed in skeletal muscle of mice acutely treated with ATRA or vehicle (olive oil).Results:ATRA treatment triggered a dose-dependent increase in the muscle mRNA expression levels of selected enzymes, transporters and transcription factors involved in fatty-acid oxidation, respiration, and thermogenesis namely: muscle-type carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1, acyl CoA oxidase 1, subunit II of cytochrome oxidase, uncoupling protein 3, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor- co-activator -1α and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor- (PPAR). The treatment also resulted in the upregulation of the mRNA levels of acetyl-CoA carboxylase 2 (ACC2), a key regulatory enzyme for mitochondrial fatty-acid oxidation in muscle. Skeletal muscle protein levels of PPAR and retinoid X receptor , a partner for many nuclear receptors involved in lipid metabolism, were increased after ATRA treatment. Muscle lipid content was decreased.Discussion:These results indicate that ATRA treatment increases the capacity of skeletal muscle for fatty-acid oxidation. Knowledge of nutrients or nutrient-derivatives capable of enhancing oxidative metabolism in muscle and other tissues can contribute to new avenues of prevention and treatment of obesity and related disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)585-591
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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