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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1994 Sep 13;91(19):8984-8.

Regulation of collecting duct water channel expression by vasopressin in Brattleboro rat.

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Laboratory of Kidney and Electrolyte Metabolism, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892.


AQP-CD is a vasopressin-regulated water channel expressed exclusively in the renal collecting duct. We have previously shown that AQP-CD is present in the apical plasma membrane and subapical vesicles of collecting duct cells, consistent with membrane-shuttling mechanisms that have been proposed to explain the short-term action of [Arg8] vasopressin (AVP) to regulate apical water permeability. We propose here that AVP may also have long-term actions on the collecting duct to regulate the expression of the AQP-CD water channel. We used immunoblotting, immunohistochemistry, and in vitro perfusion of renal tubules to investigate water channel regulation in collecting ducts of diabetes insipidus (Brattleboro) rats treated with a 5-day infusion of AVP or vehicle. Immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry demonstrated that collecting ducts of vehicle-infused Brattleboro rats had markedly reduced expression of AQP-CD relative to normal rats. In response to AVP infusion there was a nearly 3-fold increase in AQP-CD expression as detected by immunoblotting. Immunocytochemistry demonstrated that the increased expression was predominantly in the apical plasma membrane and subapical vesicles of collecting duct cells. Inner medullary collecting ducts of AVP-infused Brattleboro rats displayed a 3-fold increase in osmotic water permeability relative to vehicle-infused controls, in parallel with the change in AQP-CD expression. Based on these findings, we conclude that (i) long-term infusion of AVP, acting either directly or indirectly, regulates expression of the AQP-CD water channel and (ii) AQP-CD is the predominant AVP-regulated water channel.

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