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Pflugers Arch. 2004 Oct;449(1):106-14.

Bronchiolar expression of aquaporin-3 (AQP3) in rat lung and its dynamics in pulmonary oedema.

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Department of Laboratory Medicine, National Defence Medical College, 359-8513 Tokorozawa, Japan.


Aquaporins (AQPs) are water channel proteins that permit osmotically driven water movement. To determine their dynamics in pulmonary oedema, we examined the expression of mRNA and protein for AQP1, AQP3, AQP4, and AQP5 in the lungs of normal and thiourea-treated rats. In the thiourea group, lung water content increased significantly (vs. controls) with the peak at around 4 h. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR showed that AQP3 mRNA in the thiourea group rose significantly, peaking at around 4-8 h. The expression of AQP1, AQP4, AQP5, ENaC and CFTR mRNA each decreased significantly some time after the peak in lung water content. Immunoblot analysis showed that glycosylated AQP3 protein was increased 4-10 h after treatment. Expression of the other AQP proteins was not significantly altered, except for that of AQP4. Immunohistochemical examination revealed that AQP1 was expressed in endothelia, AQP3 in the basal cells of the large airways and in cuboidal cells in the bronchioles, AQP4 in the basolateral membrane of airway cells and AQP5 in type-I pneumocytes. Our results suggest that AQP3 is expressed not only in large airways, but also in bronchioles, and is related to water movement in pulmonary oedema.

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