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Prog Neurobiol. 2001 Feb;63(3):321-36.

Aquaporins in the central nervous system.

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  • 1Departamento de Bioquímica, Bromatología y Toxicología, Facultad de Farmacia, C/ Prof. García González s/n, Universidad de Sevilla, 41012, Sevilla, Spain.


In this review, we have tried to summarize most available data dealing with the aquaporin (AQP) family of water channels in the CNS. Two aquaporins have been identified so far in the CNS, AQP1 and AQP4. AQP1 is restricted to the choroid plexus of the lateral ventricles, which raises a role for this aquaporin in cerebrospinal fluid formation. AQP4 is the predominant water channel in the brain and it is more widely distributed than originally believed, with a marked prevalence over periventricular areas. In the first part of this review, we examine the complete distribution pattern of AQP4 in the CNS including its rostro-caudal localization to end with its subcellular location. After discussing scarce data dealing with regulation of aquaporins in the CNS, we focus in potential roles for aquaporins. Novel recent data highlights very important roles for this aquaporin in the normal and pathological brain including, among others, role in potassium buffering, body fluid homeostasis, central osmoreception and development and restoration of brain edema.

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