A systematic review of retinoic acid in the journey of spermatogonium to spermatozoa: From basic to clinical application

Cennikon Pakpahan, Ria Margiana, Mulyoto Pangestu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Retinoic acid plays an essential role in testicular development and functions, especially spermatogenesis. We have reviewed the role of retinoic acid from basic (molecular) to clinical application. Methods: A search was conducted in the online database including PubMed, Google Scholar, and Scopus for English studies published in the last eight years about this issue. We used the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines in assessing the studies we are going to investigate. Results: Studies indicated that retinoic acid plays an essential role during pluripotent stem cell migration and lineage commitment, cell differentiation, apoptosis, stem cell number regulation, and maturation arrest in spermatogenic cells. Retinoic acid can also affect related protein expression and signaling pathways at different stages of spermatogenesis. Four studies have applied retinoic acid to humans, all of them in the single-arm observational study. The results look promising but need further research with more controlled study methods, randomization, and large samples. Conclusions: This current systematic review emphasizes a novel retinoic acid mechanism that has not been well described in the literature previously on its functions during the first seven days of spermatogenesis, leading to new directions or explanations of male infertility cause and treatments as a part of reproductive health care.

Original languageEnglish
Article number552
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Clinical application
  • Male infertility
  • Reproductive health care
  • Retinoic acid
  • Spermatozoa
  • Stem cell


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