The properties of nuclear receptors belonging to the superfamily of receptors acting as transcription factors are modulated by nutritional and hormonal conditions. We showed recently that retinoic acid (RA) restored to normal the expression of receptors attenuated by hypothyroidism. The present study was designed to find out whether dietary vitamin A (as retinol) had the same effect. Propylthiouracil in drinking water induced both hypothyroidism and a vitamin A-deficient status in rats. The maximum binding capacity (Cmax) of triiodothyronine nuclear receptors (TR) was unchanged, while that of nuclear RA receptors (RAR) and nuclear glucocorticoid hormone receptors (GRn) was reduced in the liver of these hypothyroid rats. The reduced Cmax of RAR stemmed from a lower level of RAR mRNA, while the reduced Cmax of GRn was assumed to be due to reduced translocation of the receptor from the cytosol to the nucleus. Feeding the hypothyroid rats with a vitamin A-rich diet did not restore the Cmax of either RAR or GRn to normal. The lack of effect of dietary retinol on RAR expression may be attributed to either genomic (unoccupied TR block the expression of RAR genes) and/or extragenomic (hypothyroidism decreases the availability of retinol and/or its metabolism to RA) mechanisms. Triiodothyronine is thought to favour the translocation of glucocorticoid hormone receptors from cytosol to nucleus. These findings provide more information on the relationship between vitamin A and hormonal status, showing that a vitamin A-rich diet is without apparent effect on the expression of nuclear receptors in hypothyroid rats.