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Przegl Lek. 2002;59(12):1013-7.

[Aquaporin water channels in water balance regulation in the kidney].

[Article in Polish]

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Katedra i Zakład Patofizjologii Akademii Medycznej, 60-781 Poznań, ul. Swiecickiego 6.


The aquaporins (AQP) are a family of small transmembrane water channels. The discovery of AQP has provided insight into molecular mechanisms underlying renal water absorption and its regulation by vasopressin. Seven types of AQP have been identified in the kidney. AQP1 has been localized in the proximal tubule and descending thin limb, while AQP2, AQP3, and AQP4 are expressed in the collecting duct. Of these isoforms, AQP2 expression and intracellular trafficking is tightly regulated by vasopressin. Decreased expression of renal AQP has been detected in several disorders associated with polyuria and impaired ability to concentrate urine, as exemplified by nephrogenic diabetes insipidus or renal failure. In contrast, increased expression of AQP is seen in conditions leading to water retention, such as congestive heart failure, liver cirrhosis, and syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion. Thus, the understanding of molecular structure and function of aquaporins may have important implications for therapy of water balance disorders.

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