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Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2002 Dec;283(6):F1313-25. Epub 2002 Jul 30.

AQP3, p-AQP2, and AQP2 expression is reduced in polyuric rats with hypercalcemia: prevention by cAMP-PDE inhibitors.

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The Water and Salt Research Center, University of Aarhus, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether hypercalcemia is associated with downregulation of renal aquaporins (AQPs), including AQP1, AQP2, phosphorylated AQP2 (p-AQP2), AQP3, and AQP4, and if this is the case, to test whether cAMP-phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitor treatment can prevent AQP downregulation and prevent the development of polyuria. Vitamin D-induced hypercalcemia in rats was associated with increased urine output and reduced urine osmolality, consistent with previous findings (Levi M, Peterson L, and Berl T. Kidney Int 23: 489-497, 1983). Semiquantitative immunoblotting revealed a significant reduction in the abundance of inner medullary AQP2 (52 +/- 6% of control levels), consistent with previous studies, and of AQP2, which is phosphorylated at the PKA phosphorylation consensus site serine 256 (p-AQP2; 36 +/- 8%). Moreover, AQP3 abundance was also significantly decreased (45 +/- 7 and 61 +/- 6% of control levels in inner medulla and whole kidney, respectively). Consistent with this, immunohistochemistry demonstrated reduced AQP3 immunolabeling along the entire collecting duct. AQP4 expression was not reduced. Surprisingly, total kidney AQP1 abundance was also reduced (60 +/- 6%). AQP1 expression was reduced in the cortex and outer stripe of the outer medulla (48 +/- 7%; i.e., in proximal tubules). In contrast, AQP1 levels were not changed in the inner stripe of the outer medulla or in the inner medulla (i.e., descending thin limbs and vasa recta). Treatment with the cAMP-PDE inhibitors rolipram and milrinone in combination (inhibiting PDE IV and PDE III isoenzymes) at day 2 and onward completely prevented the hypercalcemia-induced downregulation of AQP2 and AQP3 (but not AQP1) and completely prevented the development of polyuria. In conclusion, AQP3, AQP2, and p-AQP2 are downregulated and are likely to play critical roles in the development of polyuria associated with vitamin D-induced hypercalcemia. Moreover, PDE inhibitor treatment significantly prevented the reduced expression of collecting duct AQPs and prevented the development of polyuria.

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