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Retinol-binding protein and transthyretin mRNA levels in visceral yolk sac and liver during fetal development in the rat


Retinol-binding protein and transthyretin mRNA levels in visceral yolk sac and liver during fetal development in the rat



Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 83(19): 7330-7334



ISSN/ISBN: 0027-8424

PMID: 3463972

DOI: 10.2307/28465

Studies were conducted to explore the synthesis of retinol-binding protein and transthyretin by embryonic and extraembryonic tissues during fetal development in the rat. The levels of retinol-binding protein mRNA and transthyretin mRNA were measured in fetal liver and in extraembryonic tissues by RNA gel blot analysis and hybridization with specific cDNA probes. Retinol-binding protein mRNA and transthyretin mRNA were both detected in the liver of fetuses at 14 days of gestation. The relative levels of these two transcripts increased during later fetal development; by the 20th day of gestation retinol-binding protein mRNA levels were comparable to those of the adult liver, while the levels of transthyretin mRNA were only 46% of those of the adult liver. Examination of the extraembryonic membranes for retinol-binding protein mRNA and transthyretin mRNA showed that these two transcripts were present specifically and only in the visceral yolk sac. The relative levels of retinol-binding protein mRNA and transthyretin mRNA in visceral yolk sac were constant from 14 to 20 days of gestation, averaging 58% and 51%, respectively, of the adult liver levels of these two transcripts. Both retinol-binding protein mRNA and transthyretin mRNA in the visceral yolk sac were found to be specifically localized in the endodermal layer. Finally, both immunoprecipitable retinol-binding protein and transthyretin were found to be synthesized and secreted by explant cultures of visceral yolk sac tissue. These data show that the visceral yolk sac is a major source of both retinol-binding protein and transthyretin in the developing fetus. Since the visceral yolk sac is a site of true placentation and nutrient transfer in the rodent, this raises the possibility that visceral yolk sac-derived retinol-binding protein and transthyretin may play important roles in the transport and delivery of retinol from the maternal blood to the developing fetus.

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Accession: 041264728

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