The distribution of retinaldehyde dehydrogenase-2 in rat and human orodental tissues

B K Berkovitz, M Maden, Peter John Andrew McCaffery, A W Barrett

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Retinoic acid is an important signalling molecule in embryological development and continues to be important in the adult animal because it modulates growth and differentiation in many epithelial tissues. The distribution of the enzyme retinaldehyde dehydrogenase-2 (RALDH 2), which is involved in the synthesis of retinoic acid, was studied using immunocytochemical techniques in: (1) the developing orodental region of rats aged between 15 days in utero and 6 months; and (2) in archival human autopsy material consisting of abdominal skin and mucosa from various regions of the mouth. In developing tooth germs, RALDH 2 was absent in the enamel organ and dental papilla, its presence only being noted at the periphery of the dental follicle adjacent to parts of the developing alveolar crypt. In adult teeth, the presence of RALDH 2 was limited to blood vessels in the periodontal ligament. In embryos, the connective tissue beneath the nasal epithelium and the meninges stained strongly positively for RALDH 2, as did the connective tissue beneath nasal epithelium in an adult rat. Both keratinized and non-keratinized human oral epithelia and abdominal skin stained positively for RALDH 2. Staining was present throughout the stratified epithelium, except in the keratinized layer and in the basal layer associated with the dorsal surface of the tongue. In addition, the adnexia as well as the ductal lining of mucous glands stained positively for RALDH 2.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1099-104
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Oral Biology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2001


  • Adult
  • Aldehyde Oxidoreductases
  • Animals
  • Epithelium
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Jaw
  • Mouth Mucosa
  • Periodontal Ligament
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Retinoic Acid
  • Retinal Dehydrogenase
  • Retinol-Binding Proteins
  • Skin
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Tooth Germ


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