Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Retinoid-induced apoptosis in normal and neoplastic tissues


Vitamin A and its derivatives (collectively referred to as retinoids) are required for many fundamental life processes, including vision, reproduction, metabolism, cellular differentiation, hematopoesis, bone development, and pattern formation during embryogenesis. There is also considerable evidence to suggest that natural and synthetic retinoids have therapeutical effects due to their antiproliferative and apoptosis-inducing effects in human diseases such as cancer. Therefore it is not surprising that a significant amount of research was dedicated to probe the molecular and cellular mechanisms of retinoid action during the past decade. One of the cellular mechanisms retinoids have been implicated in is the initiation and modulation of apoptosis in normal development and disease. This review provides a brief overview of the molecular basis of retinoid signaling, and focuses on the retinoid-regulation of apoptotic cell death and gene expression during normal development and in pathological conditions in vivo and in various tumor cell lines in vitro.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Peter JA Davies.

Additional information

Edited by M. Piacentini

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Nagy, L., Thomazy, V., Heyman, R. et al. Retinoid-induced apoptosis in normal and neoplastic tissues. Cell Death Differ 5, 11–19 (1998).

Download citation


  • retinoic acid
  • retinoic acid receptor
  • RAR
  • RXR
  • apoptosis
  • tissue transglutaminase
  • gene expression

Further reading


Quick links