Elife. 2021 Oct 8;10:e68280. doi: 10.7554/eLife.68280.

Fabio Da Silva 1, Fariba Jian Motamedi 1, Lahiru Chamara Weerasinghe Arachchige 1, Amelie Tison 1, Stephen T Bradford 1, Jonathan Lefebvre 1, Pascal Dolle 2, Norbert B Ghyselinck 2, Kay D Wagner 1, Andreas Schedl 1


1UniversitĂ© CĂ´te d’Azur, Inserm, CNRS, iBV, Nice, France.
2IGBMC, Inserm U1258, UNISTRA CNRS, Illkirch, France.


Retinoic acid (RA) is an essential signaling molecule for cardiac development and plays a protective role in the heart after myocardial infarction (MI). In both cases, the effect of RA signaling on cardiomyocytes, the principle cell type of the heart, has been reported to be indirect. Here we have developed an inducible murine transgenic RA-reporter line using CreERT2 technology that permits lineage tracing of RA-responsive cells and faithfully recapitulates endogenous RA activity in multiple organs during embryonic development. Strikingly, we have observed a direct RA response in cardiomyocytes during mid-late gestation and after MI. Ablation of RA signaling through deletion of the Aldh1a1/a2/a3 genes encoding RA-synthesizing enzymes leads to increased cardiomyocyte apoptosis in adults subjected to MI. RNA sequencing analysis reveals Tgm2 and Ace1, two genes with well-established links to cardiac repair, as potential targets of RA signaling in primary cardiomyocytes, thereby providing novel links between the RA pathway and heart disease.

PMID: 34623260
DOI: 10.7554/eLife.68280