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Monday, February 23, 2015

What Are Retinoids

The retinoids are a class of bio-organic compounds, that are structurally related to vitamin A. They are used in the medicine in order to regulate the growth of the epithelial cells.

Retinoids play a number of important and diverse functions in the body, including at the sight, the regulation of cell development and differentiation, the growth of bone tissue, the immune system and in the activation of tumor suppressor genes.


The retinoids are subdivided according to generation:

First Generation: retinol, retinal, tretinoin, isotretinoin and alitretinoin
Second generation: etretinate and its metabolite acitretin
Third generation: tazarotene, adapalene and bexarotene

Structure and properties

The chemical structure of a retinoid is related to that of vitamin A. They consist of a cyclic group, a (typically conjugated) polyene and a polar end group. The conjugated part consists of alternating single and double CC bonds, which are responsible for the typical color of the retinoids. Most of them are therefore chromophores.

The retinoids of the first and second generation are able to bind with specific receptors. This has to do with the flexibility of the conjugated carbon chain. The third generation is less flexible and therefore is going to less interactions with receptors.


Retinoids are mainly used in medicine. They are mainly, in the form of medicine, in the treatment of skin diseases deployed, inter alia, in skin cancer, acne, psoriasis and dermatoheliosis.


Most retinoids and teratogenic. The specific toxicity is dependent on the amount and duration of exposure to the substances. Symptoms of intoxificatie include: anorexia, dermatitis, hair loss, hepatosplenomegaly, papilloedema, hemorrhage, pseudotumor cerebri. Ultimately, it can also lead to the death.

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