Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Chemistry and Biochemistry

Committee Chair(s)

Raghubir Sharma


Raghubir Sharma


Art Mahoney


Hugh Stanley


Richard Keeler


David Drown


Steve Oberg


Calvin Willhite


The teratogenic potency of retinoid analogs was determined in Syrian hamsters and compared to the teratogenic potency of all-trans-retinoic acid (all-trans.-RA, ED50 = 10.5 mg/kg). A total of 15 analogs having variations in the cyclohexene ring were evaluated following various amounts of single oral doses on day 8 of gestation. Retinoids containing a five- or six-membered ring were as teratogenic as all-tmru.-RA, provided they had sufficient lipophilic substituents on the ring. The same pattern emerged for retinoids that had six-membered aromatic ring substitution for the natural cyclohexene ring of vitamin A. Incorporation of a supplementary aromatic ring in the side-chain adjacent to a gem-dimethyl-hexene ring resulted in an increase in teratogenicity by IS-fold compared to all-trans.-RA. Major modifications of the cyclohexene ring can be made without altering teratogenic activity. The ring need not be six-membered and can have decreased lipophilicity through the incorporation of polar groups compared to all-trans.-RA, but must have sufficient lipophilic substituents to provide the necessary mass for interaction with the retinoid receptor. Incorporation of a supplementary aromatic ring adjacent to a gem-dimethyl-hexene ring facilitated π-electron delocalization and restricts side-chain flexibility , thereby increasing teratogenic potency.

The pharmacokinetic disposition of 8 retinoids was investigated. Pregnant hamsters were dosed orally with all-trans-RA, 13-cis-retinoic acid, all-trans.-4- oxoretinoic acid, 9-cis-retinal, all-trans.-retinyl acetate, N-ethyl-all-trans- retinamide, N-ethyl-13-cis-retinamide, and arotinoid. The bioavailability of the retinamides was one-tenth that of the free acid retinoids. The plasma elimination half-life for all-trans-RA was 0.5 h. For 13-cis-retinoic acid and all-trans-4-oxoretinoic acid the elimination half-lives were 4.4 and 5.7 h, respectively.

The binding affinity of various retinoids to cellular retinoic acid-binding protein (cRABP) was determined in day-12 hamster fetuses. Fetal supernatants from the 105,000x g fraction were incubated with high specific-activity [3H]-all-trans-RA in the presence of various concentration of unlabeled retinoids with subsequent isolation of cRABP by size-exclusion HPLC. Teratogenic retinoids, or acidic metabolites of teratogenic retinoids bound to cRABP whereas nonteratogenic retinoids failed to bind.



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