Distribution of retinoic acid receptor α, β and γ mRNAs in neuroblastoma-derived cell lines and in fresh tumors

N. Ferrari, G. P. Tonini, A. Briata, F. Bottini, G. Vidali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The expression of α, β, and γ retinoic acid receptors (RAR) was analyzed by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT/PCR) in several neuroblastoma derived cell lines before and after exposure to 10 nM retinoic acid Each cell line shows a different receptor pattern: RARα mRNA is ubiquitously present, whereas RARβ and RARγ mRNAs are not always expressed. After retinoic acid treatment at physiological concentration, the majority of cell lines shows expression of all three receptors but two are resistant to the retinoid in expressing RARβ mRNA. These data suggest that each NE cell line follows a particular retinoic acid-dependent differentiation route, at least with regard to the expression of RARα, 13 and γ receptors. In an attempt to develop a biochemical classification of neuroblastomas, which could also be useful in the prognosis of the disease, we have screened biopsies belonging to patients in different clinical stages for the distribution of RAR receptors. The results show that the pattern of RARα, β and γ mRNAs expression is rather variable in fresh tumors even if they are classified at the same stage. This may account for heterogeneous tumor cell composition which has in turn its own complement of RA receptors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1019-1022
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Oncology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1994


  • Differentiation
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Polymerase chain reaction
  • Retinoic acid
  • Retinoic acid receptors
  • Reverse transcription

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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