Ultraviolet irradiation of human skin causes functional vitamin A deficiency, preventable by all-trans retinoic acid pre-treatment

Zengquan Wang, Mohamed Boudjelal, Sewon Kang, John J. Voorhees, Gary J. Fisher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We report here that ultraviolet irradiation substantially reduced the mRNA and protein of the two major nuclear retinoid receptors, RAR-γ and RXR- α, in human skin in vivo. Pre-treatment with retinoic acid mitigated this loss of nuclear retinoid receptors. Ultraviolet irradiation caused a near- total loss of retinoic acid induction of two RAR/RXR target genes, cellular retinoic acid binding protein-II and RA 4-hydroxylase, but did not affect 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 induction of the vitamin D receptor/RXR-regulated gene vitamin D 24-hydroxylase. In effect, ultraviolet irradiation causes a functional vitamin A deficiency that may have deleterious effects on skin function, contributing to skin photo-aging and carcinogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)418-422
Number of pages5
JournalNature medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 1999
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Cite this