Induction of trk receptors by retinoic acid in a human embryonal carcinoma cell line.Cheung, William M. W.; Chu, Apple H.; Leung, Mun-Fai; Ip, Nancy Y.Neuroreport: April 26, 1996 Article: PDF Only Abstract RETINOIC acid induced the differentiation of human embryonal carcinoma cells (NT2/D1) into several morphologically distinct cell types, including those resembling terminally differentiated postmitotic CNS neurones. The mechanism by which retinoic acid influences the process of neuronal differentiation in the CNS, however, remains unknown. In the present study, we have examined the ability of retinoic acid to induce the expression of the receptors that mediate the actions of the neurotrophins, using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and Northern blot analysis. Our study demonstrated that the expression of mRNAs for three human trk receptors was significantly induced after treatment with retinoic acid. These findings suggest that the actions of retinoic acid on neuronal differentiation in the human CNS may potentially be mediated by the neurotrophins. (C) Lippincott-Raven Publishers.