Role and Mechanism of Vitamin A Metabolism in the Pathophysiology of Parkinson’s Disease

Anais Marie, Morgane Darricau, Katia Touyarot, Louise C. Parr-Brownlie, Clémentine Bosch-Bouju
JPD. 2021-06-05; : 1-22
DOI: 10.3233/JPD-212671

Evidence shows that altered retinoic acid signaling may contribute to the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Retinoic acid is the bioactive derivative of the lipophilic vitamin A. Vitamin A is involved in several important homeostatic processes, such as cell differentiation, antioxidant activity, inflammation and neuronal plasticity. The role of vitamin A and its derivatives in the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases, and their potential as therapeutics, has drawn attention for more than 10 years. However, the literature sits in disparate fields. Vitamin A could act at the crossroad of multiple environmental and genetic factors of PD. The purpose of this review is to outline what is known about the role of vitamin A metabolism in the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of PD. We examine key biological systems and mechanisms that are under the control of vitamin A and its derivatives, which are (or could be) exploited for therapeutic potential in PD: the survival of dopaminergic neurons, oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, circadian rhythms, homeostasis of the enteric nervous system, and hormonal systems. We focus on the pivotal role of ALDH1A1, an enzyme expressed by dopaminergic neurons for the detoxification of these neurons, which is under the control of retinoic acid. By providing an integrated summary, this review will guide future studies on the potential role of vitamin A in the management of symptoms, health and wellbeing for PD patients.

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