Vitamin A (VA, retinol) metabolism is homeostatically controlled, but little is known of its regulation in the postnatal period. Here, we determined the postnatal trajectory of VA storage and metabolism in major compartments of VA metabolism-plasma, liver, lung, and kidney from postnatal (P) day 1 to adulthood. We also investigated the response to supplementation with VARA, a combination of VA and 10% all-trans-retinoic acid that previously was shown to synergistically increase retinol uptake and storage in lung. Nursling pups of dams fed a VA-marginal diet received an oral dose of oil (placebo) or VARA on each of four neonatal days: P1, P4, P7, and P10; and again as adults. Tissues were collected 6 h after the final dosing on P1, P4, P10, and at adult age. Gene transcripts for Lrat and Rbp4 in liver and Raldh-1 and Raldh-3 in lung, did not differ in the neonatal period but were higher, P<0.05, in adults, while Cyp26B1, Stra6, megalin, and Raldh-2 in lung did not differ from perinatal to adult ages. VARA supplementation increased total retinol in plasma, liver and lung, with a dose-by-dose accumulation in neonatal liver and lung, while transcripts for Lrat in liver, megalin in kidney, Cyp26A1/B1 in liver and lung, respectively, and Stra6 in lung, were all increased, suggesting pathways of VA uptake, storage and RA oxidation were each augmented after VARA. VARA decreased hepatic expression of Rbp4, responsible for VA trafficking from liver to plasma, and, in lung, of Raldh-1 and Raldh-2, which function in RA production. Our results define retinoid homeostatic gene expression from neonatal and adult age and show that while supplementation with VARA acutely alters retinol content and retinoid homeostatic gene expression in neonatal and adult lung, liver and kidney, VARA supplementation of neonates increased adult-age VA content only in the liver.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)