Expression of aquaporin water channels in mouse spinal cord

Neuroscience
Kotaro OshioGeoffrey T Manley

Abstract

Aquaporins (AQPs) are membrane proteins involved in water transport in many fluid-transporting tissues. Aquaporins AQP1, AQP4, and AQP9 have been identified in brain and hypothesized to participate in brain water homeostasis. Here we use reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), Western blotting and immunohistochemistry to describe the expression and immunolocalization of AQPs in adult mouse spinal cord. AQP4 was expressed in glial cells, predominantly in gray matter, and in astrocytic end-feet surrounding capillaries in spinal cord white matter. AQP9 expression extensively co-localized with glial fibrillary acidic protein-immunoreactive astrocytes, located predominantly in the white matter. AQP5 was detected by RT-PCR but not by immunohistochemical analysis. Interestingly, AQP8 was detected primarily in ependymal cells lining the fluid-filled central canal. The aquaporin expression pattern in spinal cord suggests involvement in water homeostasis and diseases associated with abnormal water fluxes such as spinal cord injury and syringomyelia.

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