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All-trans retinoic acid (atRA), a metabolite of vitamin A, is involved in many biological processes, including embryonic development, central nervous system function, and the immune response. It is an important signaling molecule and hormone-like growth factor for epithelial and other cells, affecting gene transciption and modulating cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. It initiates neurogenesis and dendritic growth in the hippocampus and is required for spatial memory. Superphysiological atRA inhibits neurogenesis, causes teratology and/or embryo toxicity, and alters cognitive function and behavior. Abnormal atRA may cause epithelial degeneration, such as xerophthalmia, and neurological disorders, such as schizophrenia, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, and Alzheimer's disease.

atRA has been analyzed indirectly by in vitro reporter assays or directly by instrumental methods. Indirect measurement usually lacks specificity. Instrumental methods based on LC-UV detection and LC-electrochemical detection lack sensitivity and robustness, respectively. Derivatization is required in GC/MS methods.

We provides LC-MS/MS based highly selective, sensitive, and accurate analysis of endogenous atRA and all-trans 4-hydroxy retinoic acid:

  • Quantificatin limit (atRA) of 0.2 ng/g (tissue) or 0.1 ng/mL (serum)
  • Biological fluid (e.g., urine and serum) and tissue samples
  • Method development for any retinoids upon request.