Aquaporin-9 (AQP-9) (Aquaglyceroporin-9) (Small solute channel 1) [SSC1]
The presence of Aquaporins 1 (AQP1) and 9 (AQP9), integral membrane water channels that facilitate rapid passive movement of water and solutes, was immunohistochemically detected in the excurrent ducts collected from sexually mature buffalo bulls of proven fertility during the mating (late autumn-winter) and non-mating (late spring to the beginning of autumn) seasons. Furthermore, the research was performed also on the epididymal cauda of a senile buffalo bull with inactive testis. Aquaporins 1 and 9 were immunolocalized at distinct levels. In the efferent ducts, AQP1 immunoreactivity was strongly evidenced at the apical surface of the non-ciliated cells and weakly along the basal membrane of the epithelial cells. The latter reactivity disappeared during the non-mating season. No AQP1 immunoreactivity was detected in the epithelium of epididymis and vas deferens, whereas AQP1 was expressed in the smooth muscle layer of the vas deferens. Aquaporin 1 was present in the blood vessels and in small nerve bundles all along the genital tract. The supranuclear zone of the epididymal principal cells was AQP9 immunoreactive, limited to the corpus and cauda regions, and vas deferens. The samples collected in the two reproductive seasons showed a weaker AQP9 immunoreactivity during the non-mating season. A typical AQP9 immunoreactivity was noticed in the old buffalo examined. The tested AQP molecules showed a different expression pattern in comparison with laboratory mammals, primates, equine, dog and cat. In addition, seasonal differences were noticed which are possibly useful in regard to the comprehension of the morphophysiology of reproduction in the bubaline species, which are still a matter of debate.
- Gene Expression Regulation
- Genitalia, Male
Water transport between the perilymph and endolymph is important in regulations of volume and osmotic pressure of the inner ear labyrinth. It is now known that expression of water channels (aquaporins or AQPs) in the cell membrane dramatically increases the ability of water to cross epithelial cells. The aims of the current study were to investigate the cellular localization of AQPs by immunolabeling, and to study the developmental expression and relative abundance of various subtypes of AQPs. We report here that AQP3, AQP7 and AQP9 were expressed in the inner ear. Specific subtypes of AQPs were found in discrete regions expressed by both epithelial cells and fibrocytes in cochlear and vestibular organs. Semi-quantitative measurements showed that AQP4 and AQP1 were the two most abundantly expressed AQP subtypes in the inner ear, and their expressions were dramatically upregulated during development. These data showed a highly localized and largely non-overlapping distribution pattern for different subtypes of AQPs in the inner ear, suggesting the existence of regional subtype-specific water transport pathways, and global regulation of water transport in the inner ear may require concerted actions of multiple types of AQPs.
- Biological Transport
- Ear, Inner
- Endolymphatic Sac
- Protein Isoforms
- Vestibule, Labyrinth
Fluid movement across epithelia lining portions of the male reproductive tract is important for modulating the luminal environment in which sperm mature and reside, and for increasing sperm concentration. Some regions of the male reproductive tract express aquaporin (AQP) 1 and/or AQP2, but these transmembrane water channels are not detectable in the epididymis. Therefore, we used a specific antibody to map the cellular distribution of another AQP, AQP9 (which is permeable to water and to some solutes), in the male reproductive tract. AQP9 is enriched on the apical (but not basolateral) membrane of nonciliated cells in the efferent duct and principal cells of the epididymis (rat and human) and vas deferens, where it could play a role in fluid reabsorption. Western blotting revealed a strong 30-kDa band in brush-border membrane vesicles isolated from the epididymis. AQP9 is also expressed in epithelial cells of the prostate and coagulating gland where fluid transport across the epithelium is important for secretory activity. However, it was undetectable in the seminal vesicle, suggesting that an alternative fluid transport pathway may be present in this tissue. Intracellular vesicles in epithelial cells along the reproductive tract were generally poorly stained for AQP9. Furthermore, the apical membrane distribution of AQP9 was unaffected by microtubule disruption. These data suggest that AQP9 is a constitutively inserted apical membrane protein and that its cell-surface expression is not acutely regulated by vesicular trafficking. AQP9 was detectable in the epididymis and vas deferens of 1-wk postnatal rats, but its expression was comparable with adult rats only after 3--4 wk. AQP9 could provide a route via which apical fluid and solute transport occurs in several regions of the male reproductive tract. The heterogeneous and segment-specific expression of AQP9 and other aquaporins along the male reproductive tract shown in this and in our previous studies suggests that fluid reabsorption and secretion in these tissues could be locally modulated by physiological regulation of AQP expression and/or function.
- Blotting, Western
- Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
- Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect
- Microscopy, Immunoelectron
- Rats, Sprague-Dawley
- Vas Deferens