Vitamin A is a micronutrient and signaling molecule that regulates transcription, cellular differentiation, and organ homeostasis. Additionally, metabolites of Vitamin A are utilized as differentiation agents in the treatment of hematological cancers and skin disorders, necessitating further study into the effects of both nutrient deficiency and the exogenous delivery of Vitamin A and its metabolites on cardiovascular phenotypes. Though vitamin A/retinoids are well-known regulators of cardiac formation, recent evidence has emerged that supports their role as regulators of cardiac regeneration, postnatal cardiac function, and cardiovascular disease progression. We here review findings from genetic and pharmacological studies describing the regulation of both myocyte- and vascular-driven cardiac phenotypes by vitamin A signaling. We identify the relationship between retinoids and maladaptive processes during the pathological hypertrophy of the heart, with a focus on the activation of neurohormonal signaling and fetal transcription factors (Gata4, Tbx5). Finally, we assess how this information might be leveraged to develop novel therapeutic avenues.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited