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Acta Physiol (Oxf). 2009 Jun;196(2):239-47. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-1716.2008.01938.x. Epub 2008 Nov 27.

Vasopressin-dependent upregulation of aquaporin-2 gene expression in aged rats with glucocorticoid deficiency.

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Department of Medicine, Jichi Medical University Saitama Medical Center, 1-847 Amanuma Omiya-ku, Saitama, Japan.



The study was undertaken to determine whether ageing affects kidney expression of the aquaporin-2 (AQP2) water channel in glucocorticoid-deficient rats.


After adrenalectomy, 6- and 52-week-old Sprague-Dawley rats received aldosterone via osmotic minipumps (glucocorticoid-deficient rats). Aldosterone and dexamethasone were administered to control rats of the same age.


An acute water load test verified impairment of water excretion in both young and aged rats with glucocorticoid deficiency, with a more serious impairment in the older rats. Despite the presence of hypoosmolality, non-suppressible release of arginine vasopressin (AVP) was particularly evident in the aged rats with glucocorticoid deficiency in comparison with the young rats. The expression levels of AQP2 mRNA and protein were lower in the aged rats, with a particularly large reduction in AQP2 protein expression. AQP2 expression levels were significantly augmented in the glucocorticoid-deficient rats compared with the controls under both basal and water-loaded conditions. Acute water loading did not suppress expression of AQP2 mRNA and protein, and the percentage increases in AQP2 mRNA and protein expression vs. the respective controls were more pronounced in the 52-week-old glucocorticoid-deficient rats compared with the 6-week-old rats.


The findings indicate that upregulation of AQP2 expression is maintained dependent upon non-suppressible release of AVP in rats with glucocorticoid deficiency, and that AQP2 plays a crucial role in persistent impairment of water excretion in aged rats with glucocorticoid deficiency.

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