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Virchows Arch. 2003 Dec;443(6):761-7. Epub 2003 Aug 26.

Altered aquaporin 4 expression in muscles of Fukuyama-type congenital muscular dystrophy.

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Department of Neurology, Showa University Fujigaoka Hospital, Yokohama, Japan.


This study was undertaken to investigate the expression of aquaporin 4 (AQP4) in the muscle plasma membrane of children with Fukuyama-type congenital muscular dystrophy (FCMD) at protein and mRNA levels. The biopsied six muscles with FCMD, six histochemically normal muscles and eight disease control muscles were analyzed by means of immunoblots, immunohistochemistry and reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Immunoblots showed that the band of FCMD muscle extracts stained with anti-AQP4 antibody was faint in comparison with that of normal muscle extracts. The immunohistochemistry revealed that most of the FCMD myofibers showed negative immunostaining with anti-AQP4 antibody, although the partially positive immunostaining of sporadic FCMD myofibers was noted. The immunoreactivity was positive with anti-dystrophin and anti-beta-spectrin antibodies in almost all FCMD myofibers. The quantitative RT-PCR demonstrated that the AQP4 mRNA level of the FCMD muscles was markedly reduced. On the basis of these findings, we conclude that the expression of AQP4 in FCMD myofibers is reduced and the reduced content of AQP4 mRNA in FCMD muscles may be related to the decreased expression of AQP4 at the muscle plasma membrane of FCMD myofibers.

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