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1.  A trehalose 6-phosphate synthase gene of the hemocytes of the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus: cloning, the expression, its enzyme activity and relationship to hemolymph trehalose levels 
Saline Systems  2008;4:18.
Trehalose in ectoderms functions in energy metabolism and protection in extreme environmental conditions. We structurally characterized trehalose 6-phosphate synthase (TPS) from hemocytes of the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus. C. sapidus Hemo TPS (CasHemoTPS), like insect TPS, encodes both TPS and trehalose phosphate phosphatase domains. Trehalose seems to be a major sugar, as it shows higher levels than does glucose in hemocytes and hemolymph. Increases in HemoTPS expression, TPS enzyme activity in hemocytes, and hemolymph trehalose levels were determined 24 h after lipopolysaccharide challenge, suggesting that both TPS and TPP domains of CasHemoTPS are active and functional. The TPS gene has a wide tissue distribution in C. sapidus, suggesting multiple biosynthetic sites. A correlation between TPS activity in hemocytes and hemolymph trehalose levels was found during the molt cycle. The current study provides the first evidence of presence of trehalose in hemocytes and TPS in tissues of C. sapidus and implicates its functional role in energy metabolism and physiological adaptation.
doi:10.1186/1746-1448-4-18
PMCID: PMC2615023  PMID: 19077285
2.  Expression and Localization of Aquaporin 1a in the Sea-Bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) during Ontogeny 
The successful establishment of a species in a given habitat depends on the ability of each of its developing stages to adapt to the environment. In order to understand this process we have studied the adaptation of a euryhaline fish, the sea-bass Dicentrarchus labrax, to various salinities during its ontogeny. The expression and localization of Aquaporin 1a (AQP1a) mRNA and protein were determined in different osmoregulatory tissues. In larvae, the sites of AQP1a expression are variable and they shift according to age, implying functional changes. In juveniles after metamorphosis (D32–D48 post-hatch, 15–25 mm) and in pre-adults, an increase in AQP1a transcript abundance was noted in the digestive tract, and the AQP1a location was observed in the intestine. In juveniles (D87–D100 post-hatch, 38–48 mm), the transcript levels of AQP1a in the digestive tract and in the kidney were higher in sea water (SW) than at lower salinity. These observations, in agreement with existing models, suggest that in SW-acclimated fish, the imbibed water is absorbed via AQP1a through the digestive tract, particularly the intestine and the rectum. In addition, AQP1a may play a role in water reabsorption in the kidney. These mechanisms compensate dehydration in SW, and they contribute to the adaptation of juveniles to salinity changes during sea-lagoon migrations. These results contribute to the interpretation of the adaptation of populations to habitats where salinity varies.
doi:10.3389/fphys.2011.00034
PMCID: PMC3137954  PMID: 21808622
AQP1a; fish larvae; osmoregulation; intestine; water channel
3.  New Functions of Arthropod Bursicon: Inducing Deposition and Thickening of New Cuticle and Hemocyte Granulation in the Blue Crab, Callinectes sapidus 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(9):e46299.
Arthropod growth requires molt-associated changes in softness and stiffness of the cuticle that protects from desiccation, infection and injury. Cuticle hardening in insects depends on the blood-borne hormone, bursicon (Burs), although it has never been determined in hemolymph. Whilst also having Burs, decapod crustaceans reiterate molting many more times during their longer life span and are encased in a calcified exoskeleton, which after molting undergoes similar initial cuticle hardening processes as in insects. We investigated the role of homologous crustacean Burs in cuticular changes and growth in the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus. We found dramatic increases in size and number of Burs cells during development in paired thoracic ganglion complex (TGC) neurons with pericardial organs (POs) as neurohemal release sites. A skewed expression of Burs β/Burs α mRNA in TGC corresponds to protein contents of identified Burs β homodimer and Burs heterodimer in POs. In hemolymph, Burs is consistently present at ∼21 pM throughout the molt cycle, showing a peak of ∼89 pM at ecdysis. Since initial cuticle hardness determines the degree of molt-associated somatic increment (MSI), we applied recombinant Burs in vitro to cuticle explants of late premolt or early ecdysis. Burs stimulates cuticle thickening and granulation of hemocytes. These findings demonstrate novel cuticle-associated functions of Burs during molting, while the unambiguous and constant presence of Burs in cells and hemolymph throughout the molt cycle and life stages may implicate further functions of its homo- and heterodimer hormone isoforms in immunoprotective defense systems of arthropods.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0046299
PMCID: PMC3460823  PMID: 23029467
4.  Variation in spatial and temporal incidence of the crustacean pathogen Hematodinium perezi in environmental samples from Atlantic Coastal Bays 
Aquatic Biosystems  2013;9:11.
Background
Hematodinium perezi, a parasitic dinoflagellate, infects and kills blue crabs, Callinectes sapidus, along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States. The parasite proliferates within host hemolymph and tissues, and also produces free-swimming biflagellated dinospores that emerge from infected crabs. Infections in C. sapidus recur annually, and it is not known if biotic or environmental reservoirs contribute to reinfection and outbreaks. To address this data gap, a quantitative PCR assay based on the internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) region of H. perezi rRNA genes was developed to asses the temporal and spatial incidence of the parasite in Delaware and Maryland coastal bays.
Results
A previously-used PCR assay for H. perezi, based on the small subunit rRNA gene sequence, was found to lack adequate species specificity to discriminate non-Hematodinium sp. dinoflagellate species in environmental samples. A new ITS2-targeted assay was developed and validated to detect H. perezi DNA in sediment and water samples using E. coli carrying the H. perezi rDNA genes. Application of the method to environmental samples identified potential hotspots in sediment in Indian River Inlet, DE and Chincoteague Bay, MD and VA. H. perezi DNA was not detected in co-occurring shrimp or snails, even during an outbreak of the parasite in C. sapidus.
Conclusions
H. perezi is present in water and sediment samples in Maryland and Delaware coastal bays from April through November with a wide spatial and temporal variability in incidence. Sampling sites with high levels of H. perezi DNA in both bays share characteristics of silty, organic sediments and low tidal currents. The environmental detection of H. perezi in spring, ahead of peak prevalence in crabs, points to gaps in our understanding of the parasite’s life history prior to infection in crabs as well as the mode of environmental transmission. To better understand the H. perezi life cycle will require further monitoring of the parasite in habitats as well as hosts. Improved understanding of potential environmental transmission to crabs will facilitate the development of disease forecasting.
doi:10.1186/2046-9063-9-11
PMCID: PMC3651331  PMID: 23641869
Blue crab; Hematodinium; Parasite; Disease reservoir; Fishery
5.  Transcriptomics of coping strategies in free-swimming Lepeophtheirus salmonis (Copepoda) larvae responding to abiotic stress 
Molecular Ecology  2012;21(24):6000-6014.
The salmon louse Lepeophtheirus salmonis is a marine ectoparasite of wild and farmed salmon in the Northern Hemisphere. Infections of farmed salmon are of economic and ecological concern. Nauplius and copepodid salmon lice larvae are free-swimming and disperse in the water column until they encounter a host. In this study, we characterized the sublethal stress responses of L. salmonis copepodid larvae by applying a 38K oligonucleotide microarray to profile transcriptomes following 24 h exposures to suboptimal salinity (30–10 parts per thousand (‰)) or temperature (16–4 °C) environments. Hyposalinity exposure resulted in large-scale gene expression changes relative to those elicited by a thermal gradient. Subsequently, transcriptome responses to a more finely resolved salinity gradient between 30 ‰ and 25 ‰ were profiled. Minimal changes occurred at 29 ‰ or 28 ‰, a threshold of response was identified at 27 ‰, and the largest response was at 25 ‰. Differentially expressed genes were clustered by pattern of expression, and clusters were characterized by functional enrichment analysis. Results indicate larval copepods adopt two distinct coping strategies in response to short-term hyposaline stress: a primary response using molecular chaperones and catabolic processes at 27 ‰; and a secondary response up-regulating ion pumps, transporters, a different suite of chaperones and apoptosis-related transcripts at 26 ‰ and 25 ‰. The results further our understanding of the tolerances of L. salmonis copepodids to salinity and temperature gradients and may assist in the development of salmon louse management strategies.
doi:10.1111/mec.12072
PMCID: PMC3557717  PMID: 23094868
abiotic stress; copepod; ecological genomics; salinity; sea lice; transcriptomics
6.  Antibody to Aquaporin 4 in the Diagnosis of Neuromyelitis Optica 
PLoS Medicine  2007;4(4):e133.
Background
Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is a demyelinating disease of the central nervous system (CNS) of putative autoimmune aetiology. Early discrimination between multiple sclerosis (MS) and NMO is important, as optimum treatment for both diseases may differ considerably. Recently, using indirect immunofluorescence analysis, a new serum autoantibody (NMO-IgG) has been detected in NMO patients. The binding sites of this autoantibody were reported to colocalize with aquaporin 4 (AQP4) water channels. Thus we hypothesized that AQP4 antibodies in fact characterize NMO patients.
Methods and Findings
Based on these observations we cloned human water channel AQP4, expressed the protein in a eukaryotic transcription/translation system, and employed the recombinant AQP4 to establish a new radioimmunoprecipitation assay (RIPA). Indeed, application of this RIPA showed that antibodies against AQP4 exist in the majority of patients with NMO (n = 37; 21 positive) as well as in patients with isolated longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis (n = 6; six positive), corresponding to a sensitivity of 62.8% and a specificity of 98.3%. By contrast, AQP4 antibodies were virtually absent in 291 other participants, which included patients with MS (n = 144; four positive), patients with other inflammatory and noninflammatory neurological diseases (n = 73; one positive), patients with systemic autoimmune diseases (n = 45; 0 positive), and healthy participants (n = 29; 0 positive).
Conclusions
In the largest series reported so far to our knowledge, we quantified AQP4 antibodies in patients with NMO versus various other diseases, and showed that the aquaporin 4 water channel is a target antigen in a majority of patients with NMO. The newly developed assay represents a highly specific, observer-independent, and easily reproducible detection method facilitating clinically relevant discrimination between NMO, MS, and other inflammatory diseases.
A newly developed method to detect antibodies to the aquaporin 4 water channel can help discriminate between neuromyelitis optica, multiple sclerosis, and other inflammatory diseases.
Editors' Summary
Background.
Neuromyelitis optica (NMO or Devic syndrome) is a rare disease in which the immune system destroys the myelin (fatty material that insulates nerve fibers so that the body and the brain can communicate using electrical messages) in the optic nerve and spinal cord. Myelin destruction (demyelination) in these parts of the central nervous system (CNS) causes pain and swelling (inflammation) of the optic nerve (optic neuritis) and spinal cord (myelitis). The resultant disruption of communication along these nerves means that patients with NMO experience temporary or permanent blindness in one or both eyes that is preceded or followed by limb weakness or paralysis and loss of bladder and bowel control. These two sets of symptoms can occur many months apart and may happen once during a person's lifetime or recur at intervals. There is no cure for NMO, but corticosteroids or plasmapheresis reduce inflammation during acute attacks and, because NMO is an autoimmune disease (one in which the immune system attacks the body's own tissues instead of foreign organisms), long-term immunosuppression may prevent further attacks.
Why Was This Study Done?
There are many inflammatory/demyelinating diseases of the CNS with clinical symptoms similar to those of NMO. It is particularly hard to distinguish between NMO and multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease that involves widespread demyelination. Neurologists need to make a correct diagnosis before starting any treatment and usually use clinical examination and magnetic resonance imaging (to detect sites of inflammation) to help them in this task. Recently, however, a biomarker for NMO was identified. Many patients with NMO make autoantibodies (proteins that recognize a component of a person's own tissues) called NMO-IgGs. These recognize aquaporin 4 (AQP4), a protein that allows water to move through cell membranes. It is not known how often patients with NMO or other demyelinating diseases make antibodies to AQP4, so it is unclear whether testing for these antibodies would help in the diagnosis of NMO. In this study, the researchers have developed a new assay for antibodies to AQP4 and then quantified the antibodies in patients with NMO and other demyelinating diseases.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers made radioactively labeled AQP4 in a test tube, then incubated samples of this with serum (the liquid portion of blood), added small beads coated with protein A (a bacterial protein that binds to antibodies) and allowed the beads to settle. The amount of radioactivity attached to the beads indicates the amount of antibody to AQP4 in the original serum. The researchers used this radioimmunoprecipitation assay to measure antibodies to AQP4 in sera from 37 patients with NMO and from six with another neurological condition, longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis (LETM), which is characterized by large demyelinated lesions across the width of the spinal cord but no optic neuritis; these patients often develop NMO. They also measured antibodies to AQP4 in the sera of nearly 300 other people including patients with multiple sclerosis, other neurological conditions, various autoimmune diseases, and healthy individuals. Nearly two-thirds of the patients with NMO and all those with LETM made antibodies against AQP4; very few of the other study participants made these antibodies. In particular, only four of the 144 patients with multiple sclerosis made AQP4 antibodies.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that testing for antibodies to AQP4 could help neurologists distinguish between NMO and multiple sclerosis and between NMO and other demyelinating diseases of the CNS. In addition, the new radioimmunoprecipitation assay provides a standardized, high-throughput way to quantitatively test for these antibodies, whereas the indirect immune fluorescence assay for measurement of unspecific NMO-IgG is observer-dependent and nonquantitative. Although these findings need to be confirmed in more patients and the assay's reliability demonstrated in different settings, the measurement of antibodies to AQP4 by radioimmunoprecipitation may become a standard part of the differential diagnosis of NMO. Additional research will determine whether AQP4 is the only protein targeted by autoantibodies in NMO and whether this targeting is a critical part of the disease process.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0040133.
US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has information for patients who have neuromyelitis optica, transverse myelitis, and multiple sclerosis
The Transverse Myelitis Association offers information and useful links for patients and their carers about transverse myelitis and neuromyelitis optica (in several languages, including English and Spanish)
Mayo Clinic information for patients on Devic's syndrome
Medline Plus encyclopedia pages discuss autoimmune disorders (in English and Spanish)
A brief overview of aquaporins is available from the University of Miami
The American MS Society has information on MS
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040133
PMCID: PMC1852124  PMID: 17439296
7.  Functional Expression of Aquaporins in Embryonic, Postnatal, and Adult Mouse Lenses 
Aquaporin 0 (AQP0) and AQP1 are expressed in the lens, each in a different cell type, and their functional roles are not thoroughly understood. Our previous study showed that these two AQPs function as water transporters. In order to further understand the functional significance of these two different aquaporins in the lens, we investigated their initiation and continued expression. AQP0 transcript and protein were first detected at embryonic stage (E) 11.25 in the differentiating primary fiber cells of the developing lens; its synthesis continued through the adult stage in the secondary fiber cells. Low levels of AQP1 expression were first seen in lens anterior epithelial cells at E17.5; following postnatal day (P) 6.5, the expression gradually progressed towards the equatorial epithelial cells. In the postnatal lens, the increase in membrane water permeability of epithelial cells and lens transparency coincides with the increase in AQP1 expression. AQP1 expression reaches its peak at P30 and continues through the adult stage both in the anterior and equatorial epithelial cells. The enhancement in AQP1 expression concomitant with the increase in the size of the lens suggests the progression in the establishment of the lens microcirculatory system. In vitro and in vivo studies show that both aquaporins share at least one important function, which is water transport in the lens microcirculatory system. However, the temporal expression of these two AQPs suggests an apparently unique role/s in lens development and transparency. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the expression patterns of AQP0 and AQP1 during lens development and differentiation and their relation to lens transparency.
doi:10.1002/dvdy.21125
PMCID: PMC2534140  PMID: 17377981
aquaporins; AQP0; AQP1; MIP26; membrane permeability; cataract; cell-to-cell adhesion
8.  Role of Aquaporin-4 in Airspace-to-Capillary Water Permeability in Intact Mouse Lung Measured by a Novel Gravimetric Method 
The mammalian peripheral lung contains at least three aquaporin (AQP) water channels: AQP1 in microvascular endothelia, AQP4 in airway epithelia, and AQP5 in alveolar epithelia. In this study, we determined the role of AQP4 in airspace-to-capillary water transport by comparing water permeability in wild-type mice and transgenic null mice lacking AQP1, AQP4, or AQP1/AQP4 together. An apparatus was constructed to measure lung weight continuously during pulmonary artery perfusion of isolated mouse lungs. Osmotically induced water flux (Jv) between the airspace and capillary compartments was measured from the kinetics of lung weight change in saline-filled lungs in response to changes in perfusate osmolality. Jv in wild-type mice varied linearly with osmotic gradient size (4.4 × 10−5 cm3 s−1 mOsm−1) and was symmetric, independent of perfusate osmolyte size, weakly temperature dependent, and decreased 11-fold by AQP1 deletion. Transcapillary osmotic water permeability was greatly reduced by AQP1 deletion, as measured by the same method except that the airspace saline was replaced by an inert perfluorocarbon. Hydrostatically induced lung edema was characterized by lung weight changes in response to changes in pulmonary arterial inflow or pulmonary venous outflow pressure. At 5 cm H2O outflow pressure, the filtration coefficient was 4.7 cm3 s−1 mOsm−1 and reduced 1.4-fold by AQP1 deletion. To study the role of AQP4 in lung water transport, AQP1/AQP4 double knockout mice were generated by crossbreeding of AQP1 and AQP4 null mice. Jv were (cm3 s−1 mOsm−1 × 10−5, SEM, n = 7–12 mice): 3.8 ± 0.4 (wild type), 0.35 ± 0.02 (AQP1 null), 3.7 ± 0.4 (AQP4 null), and 0.25 ± 0.01 (AQP1/AQP4 null). The significant reduction in Pf in AQP1 vs. AQP1/AQP4 null mice was confirmed by an independent pleural surface fluorescence method showing a 1.6 ± 0.2-fold (SEM, five mice) reduced Pf in the AQP1/AQP4 double knockout mice vs. AQP1 null mice. These results establish a simple gravimetric method to quantify osmosis and filtration in intact mouse lung and provide direct evidence for a contribution of the distal airways to airspace-to-capillary water transport.
PMCID: PMC1887782  PMID: 10613915
water permeability; airways; transgenic mouse; membrane transport; aquaporin-1
9.  Aquaporins Are Critical for Provision of Water during Lactation and Intrauterine Progeny Hydration to Maintain Tsetse Fly Reproductive Success 
Tsetse flies undergo drastic fluctuations in their water content throughout their adult life history due to events such as blood feeding, dehydration and lactation, an essential feature of the viviparous reproductive biology of tsetse. Aquaporins (AQPs) are transmembrane proteins that allow water and other solutes to permeate through cellular membranes. Here we identify tsetse aquaporin (AQP) genes, examine their expression patterns under different physiological conditions (blood feeding, lactation and stress response) and perform functional analysis of three specific genes utilizing RNA interference (RNAi) gene silencing. Ten putative aquaporins were identified in the Glossina morsitans morsitans (Gmm) genome, two more than has been previously documented in any other insect. All organs, tissues, and body parts examined had distinct AQP expression patterns. Two AQP genes, gmmdripa and gmmdripb ( = gmmaqp1a and gmmaqp1b) are highly expressed in the milk gland/fat body tissues. The whole-body transcript levels of these two genes vary over the course of pregnancy. A set of three AQPs (gmmaqp5, gmmaqp2a, and gmmaqp4b) are expressed highly in the Malpighian tubules. Knockdown of gmmdripa and gmmdripb reduced the efficiency of water loss following a blood meal, increased dehydration tolerance and reduced heat tolerance of adult females. Knockdown of gmmdripa extended pregnancy length, and gmmdripb knockdown resulted in extended pregnancy duration and reduced progeny production. We found that knockdown of AQPs increased tsetse milk osmolality and reduced the water content in developing larva. Combined knockdown of gmmdripa, gmmdripb and gmmaqp5 extended pregnancy by 4–6 d, reduced pupal production by nearly 50%, increased milk osmolality by 20–25% and led to dehydration of feeding larvae. Based on these results, we conclude that gmmDripA and gmmDripB are critical for diuresis, stress tolerance and intrauterine lactation through the regulation of water and/or other uncharged solutes.
Author Summary
Glossina sp. are responsible for transmission of African trypanosomes, the causative agents of sleeping sickness in humans and Nagana in cattle. Blood feeding and nutrient provisioning through lactation during intrauterine progeny development are periods when considerable water movement occurs within tsetse flies. With the completion of the tsetse fly genome, we sought to characterize the role of aquaporins in relation water homeostasis during blood feeding, stress tolerance and the lactation cycle. We provide evidence that specific AQPs are 1. critical during diuresis following a bloodmeal, 2. important in the regulation of dehydration resistance and heat tolerance and 3. crucial in the allocation of water within tsetse milk that is necessary for progeny hydration. Specifically, we discovered a novel tsetse AQP that is imperative to lactation and may represent a potential target for population control of this disease vector.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002517
PMCID: PMC3998938  PMID: 24762803
10.  BIOCHEMICAL AND ULTRASTRUCTURAL ASPECTS OF CA2+ TRANSPORT BY MITOCHONDRIA OF THE HEPATOPANCREAS OF THE BLUE CRAB CALLINECTES SAPIDUS 
The Journal of Cell Biology  1974;61(2):301-315.
Mitochondria isolated from the hepatopancreas of the blue crab Callinectes sapidus show up to 12-fold stimulation of respiration on addition of Ca2+, which is accompanied by Ca2+ accumulation (Ca2+:site = 1.9) and H+ ejection (H+:Ca2+ = 0.85). Sr2+ and Mn2+ are also accumulated; Mg2+ is not. A strongly hypertonic medium (383 mosM), Mg2+, and phosphate are required for maximal Ca2+ uptake. Ca2+ uptake takes precedence over oxidative phosphorylation of ADP for respiratory energy. Once Ca2+ is accumulated by the crab mitochondria, it is stable and only very slowly released, even by uncoupling agents. ATP hydrolysis also supports Ca2+ uptake. Respiration-inhibited crab hepatopancreas mitochondria show both high-affinity and low-affinity Ca2+-binding sites, which are inactive in the presence of uncoupling agents. Crab hepatopancreas mitochondria have an enormous capacity for accumulation of Ca2+, up to 5,500 ng-atoms Ca2+ per mg protein, with an equivalent amount of phosphate. Freshly isolated mitochondria contain very large amounts of Ca2+, Mg2+, phosphate, K+, and Na+; their high Ca2+ content is a reflection of the vary large amount of extra-mitochondrial Ca2+ in the whole tissue. Electron microscopy of crab mitochondria loaded with Ca2+ and phosphate showed large electron-dense deposits, presumably of precipitated calcium phosphate. They consisted of bundles of needle-like crystals, whereas Ca2+-loaded rat liver mitochondria show only amorphous deposits of calcium phosphate under similar conditions. The very pronounced capacity of crab hepatopancreas mitochondria for transport of Ca2+ appears to be adapted to a role in the storage and release of Ca2+ during the molting cycle of this crustacean.
PMCID: PMC2109283  PMID: 4827906
11.  Differential, Phosphorylation Dependent Trafficking of AQP2 in LLC-PK1 Cells 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(2):e32843.
The kidney maintains water homeostasis by modulating aquaporin 2 (AQP2) on the plasma membrane of collecting duct principal cells in response to vasopressin (VP). VP mediated phosphorylation of AQP2 at serine 256 is critical for this effect. However, the role of phosphorylation of other serine residues in the AQP2 C-terminus is less well understood. Here, we examined the effect of phosphorylation of S256, S261 and S269 on AQP2 trafficking and association with recycling pathway markers. We used LLC-PK1 cells expressing AQP2(S-D) or (S-A) phospho mutants and a 20°C cold block, which allows endocytosis to continue, but prevents protein exit from the trans Golgi network (TGN), inducing formation of a perinuclear AQP2 patch. AQP2-S256D persists on the plasma membrane during cold block, while wild type AQP2, AQP2-S256A, S261A, S269A and S269D are internalized and accumulate in the patch. Development of this patch, a measure of AQP2 internalization, was most rapid with AQP2-S256A, and slowest with S261A and S269D. AQP2-S269D exhibited a biphasic internalization profile with a significant amount not internalized until 150 minutes of cold block. After rewarming to 37°C, wt AQP2, AQP2-S261A and AQP2-S269D rapidly redistributed throughout the cytoplasm within 20 minutes, whereas AQP2-S256A dissipated more slowly. Colocalization of AQP2 mutants with several key vesicular markers including clathrin, HSP70/HSC70, EEA, GM130 and Rab11 revealed no major differences. Overall, our data provide evidence supporting the role of S256 and S269 in the maintenance of AQP2 at the cell surface and reveal the dynamics of internalization and recycling of differentially phosphorylated AQP2 in cell culture.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0032843
PMCID: PMC3293519  PMID: 22403603
12.  Over-expression of a poor prognostic marker in prostate cancer: AQP5 promotes cells growth and local invasion 
Background
The aquaporins (AQPs), water channel proteins, are known playing a major role in transcellular and transepithelial water movement; they also exhibit several properties related to tumor development. The aim of the present study is to elucidate whether the expression of AQP5 is a strong prognostic biomarker for prostate cancer, and the potential role in the progression of prostate cancer cells.
Methods
AQP5 expression was measured in 60 prostate cancer tissues and cells (both PC-3 and LNCaP) by immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence assay. AQP5 gene amplification was detected with FISH (fluorescence in situ hybridization). Proliferation and migration of cells and AQP5 siRNA cells were detected with MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide) and Boyden chambers. Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) were detected by imFISH staining (CEP8-CD45-DAPI) assay.
Results
The results showed that in 60 tumor specimens, 19 (31.7%) patients showed high level of AQP5 expression, while 30 (50.0%) showed a moderate, intermediate level of staining, and 11 (18.3%) showed an absence of AQP5 staining, respectively. High-expression of AQP5 protein frequently accompanied gene amplification detection with FISH. The AQP5 over-expression was also associated with TNM stage (P = 0.042), and lymph node metastasis (P = 0.001). The relationships between age or tumor size with the expression of AQP5 were not significant (P > 0.05). A positive correlation between the number of CTCs and AQP5 expression (P < 0.05) was demonstrated. In addition, patients who were negative for AQP5 had superior cumulative survival rate than those who were positive for it. Over-expression of AQP5 protein was also found in prostate cancer cells and cell proliferation and migration were significantly attenuated by AQP5-siRNA.
Conclusions
We concluded that AQP5 in prostate cancer was an independent prognostic indicator. AQP5 over-expression was likely to play a role in cell growth and metastasis. These conclusions suggest that AQP5 may be an effective therapeutic target for prostate cancer.
doi:10.1186/1477-7819-12-284
PMCID: PMC4247740  PMID: 25217331
Prostate cancer; AQP5; Prognosis; FISH; CTC
13.  Distribution and quantitative changes in amounts of aquaporin 1, 5 and 9 in the pig uterus during the estrous cycle and early pregnancy 
Background
Aquaporins (AQPs) are a family of membrane channel proteins that facilitate bulk water transport. To date, 11 isoforms of AQPs have been reported to be expressed in the female and male reproductive systems. The purpose of our study was to determine the localization and quantitative changes in the expression of AQP1, 5 and 9 within the pig uterus during different stages of the estrous cycle and early pregnancy.
Methods
Immunoperoxidase and semi-quantitative immunoblotting techniques were used to examine the distribution and changes in amounts of AQP1, AQP5 and AQP9 in uteral cells of pigs at the early (Days 2-4), middle (10-12), late (14-16) stage of the luteal phase and late (18-20) stage of the follicular phase of the estrous cycle as well as on Days 14-16 and 30-32 of gestation (the onset and the end of implantation process).
Results
The results demonstrated that AQP1, 5, and 9 were clearly detected in all studied stages of the estrous cycle and pregnancy. AQP1 was localized within uterine blood vessels. In cyclic gilts, endometrial and myometrial expression of AQP1 protein did not change significantly but increased during gestation. AQP5 was localized in smooth muscle cells and uterine epithelial cells. Endometrial expression of AQP5 protein did not change significantly between Days 2-4 and 10-12 of the estrous cycle but increased on Days 14-16 and 18-20 as well as during early pregnancy. Myometrial expression of AQP5 did not differ significantly during the estrous cycle but increased in the pregnancy. The anti-AQP9 antibody labeled uterine epithelial cells of uterus. Endometrial expression of AQP9 did not change significantly between Days 2-4 and 10-12 of the estrous cycle but increased on Days 14-16 and 18-20 as well as during early pregnancy.
Conclusions
The results suggest that a functional and distinctive collaboration exists among diverse AQPs in water handling during the different uterine phases in the estrous cycle and early pregnancy.
doi:10.1186/1477-7827-8-109
PMCID: PMC2944173  PMID: 20828411
14.  Structural and functional divergence of two fish aquaporin-1 water channels following teleost-specific gene duplication 
Background
Teleost radiation in the oceans required specific physiological adaptations in eggs and early embryos to survive in the hyper-osmotic seawater. Investigating the evolution of aquaporins (AQPs) in these vertebrates should help to elucidate how mechanisms for water homeostasis evolved. The marine teleost gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata) has a mammalian aquaporin-1 (AQP1)-related channel, termed AQP1o, with a specialized physiological role in mediating egg hydration. However, teleosts have an additional AQP isoform structurally more similar to AQP1, though its relationship with AQP1o is unclear.
Results
By using phylogenetic and genomic analyses we show here that teleosts, unlike tetrapods, have two closely linked AQP1 paralogous genes, termed aqp1a and aqp1b (formerly AQP1o). In marine teleosts that produce hydrated eggs, aqp1b is highly expressed in the ovary, whereas in freshwater species that produce non-hydrated eggs, aqp1b has a completely different expression pattern or is not found in the genome. Both Aqp1a and Aqp1b are functional water-selective channels when expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. However, expression of chimeric and mutated proteins in oocytes revealed that the sea bream Aqp1b C-terminus, unlike that of Aqp1a, contains specific residues involved in the control of Aqp1b intracellular trafficking through phosphorylation-independent and -dependent mechanisms.
Conclusion
We propose that 1) Aqp1a and Aqp1b are encoded by distinct genes that probably originated specifically in the teleost lineage by duplication of a common ancestor soon after divergence from tetrapods, 2) Aqp1b possibly represents a neofunctionalized AQP adapted to oocytes of marine and catadromous teleosts, thereby contributing to a water reservoir in eggs and early embryos that increases their survival in the ocean, and 3) Aqp1b independently acquired regulatory domains in the cytoplasmatic C-terminal tail for the specific control of Aqp1b expression in the plasma membrane.
doi:10.1186/1471-2148-8-259
PMCID: PMC2564943  PMID: 18811940
15.  Role of Aquaporin Water Channels in Airway Fluid Transport, Humidification, and Surface Liquid Hydration 
The Journal of General Physiology  2001;117(6):573-582.
Several aquaporin-type water channels are expressed in mammalian airways and lung: AQP1 in microvascular endothelia, AQP3 in upper airway epithelia, AQP4 in upper and lower airway epithelia, and AQP5 in alveolar epithelia. Novel quantitative methods were developed to compare airway fluid transport–related functions in wild-type mice and knockout mice deficient in these aquaporins. Lower airway humidification, measured from the moisture content of expired air during mechanical ventilation with dry air through a tracheotomy, was 54–56% efficient in wild-type mice, and reduced by only 3–4% in AQP1/AQP5 or AQP3/AQP4 double knockout mice. Upper airway humidification, measured from the moisture gained by dry air passed through the upper airways in mice breathing through a tracheotomy, decreased from 91 to 50% with increasing ventilation from 20 to 220 ml/min, and reduced by 3–5% in AQP3/AQP4 knockout mice. The depth and salt concentration of the airway surface liquid in trachea was measured in vivo using fluorescent probes and confocal and ratio imaging microscopy. Airway surface liquid depth was 45 ± 5 μm and [Na+] was 115 ± 4 mM in wild-type mice, and not significantly different in AQP3/AQP4 knockout mice. Osmotic water permeability in upper airways, measured by an in vivo instillation/sample method, was reduced by ∼40% by AQP3/AQP4 deletion. In doing these measurements, we discovered a novel amiloride-sensitive isosmolar fluid absorption process in upper airways (13% in 5 min) that was not affected by aquaporin deletion. These results establish the fluid transporting properties of mouse airways, and indicate that aquaporins play at most a minor role in airway humidification, ASL hydration, and isosmolar fluid absorption.
PMCID: PMC2232398  PMID: 11382807
water permeability; trachea; airway surface liquid; ventilator; fluorescence microscopy
16.  Aquaporin 1a Expression in Gill, Intestine, and Kidney of the Euryhaline Silver Sea Bream 
This study aimed to investigate the effects of chronic salinity acclimation, abrupt salinity transfer, and cortisol administration on aquaporin 1 (AQP1) expression in gill, intestine, and kidney of silver sea bream (Sparus sarba). An AQP1a cDNA was cloned and found to share 83–96% amino acid sequence identity with AQP1 genes from several fish species. Tissue distribution studies of AQP1a mRNA demonstrated that it was expressed in gill, liver, intestine, rectum, kidney, heart, urinary bladder, and whole blood. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR analysis was used to measure AQP1a transcript abundance in sea bream that were acclimated to salinity conditions of 0, 6, 12, 33, 50, and 70 ppt for 1 month. The abundance of gill AQP1a transcript was highest in sea bream acclimated to 0 ppt whereas no differences were found among 0–50 ppt groups. For intestine, the highest AQP1a transcript amounts were found in sea bream acclimated to 12 and 70 ppt whereas the transcript abundance of kidney AQP1a was found to be unchanged amongst the different salinity groups. To investigate the effects of acute salinity alterations on AQP1a expression, sea bream were abruptly transferred from 33 to 6 ppt. For intestine AQP1a levels were altered at different times, post transfer, but remained unchanged in gill and kidney. To study the effects of cortisol on AQP1a expression, sea bream were administered a single dose of cortisol followed by a 3-day acclimation to either 33 or 6 ppt. The findings from this experiment demonstrated that cortisol administration resulted in alterations of AQP1a transcript in gill and intestine but not in kidney.
doi:10.3389/fphys.2011.00039
PMCID: PMC3143732  PMID: 21811469
fish; aquaporin; gene; gill; intestine; kidney; salinity; cortisol
17.  Pyrophosphatase of the Roundworm Ascaris suum Plays an Essential Role in the Worm's Molting and Development  
Infection and Immunity  2005;73(4):1995-2004.
Previous studies indicated that inorganic pyrophosphatase of Ascaris suum (AsPPase) plays an important role in larval survival in the host. Here we describe a precise role for AsPPase in larval molting and development and also describe the potential role of recombinant AsPPase (rAsPPase) in protective immunity to A. suum infection. Using reverse transcriptase PCR analysis, we found that disruption of AsPPase gene function by RNA interference resulted in suppression of AsPPase mRNA levels. RNA interference also caused inhibition of molting of third-stage larvae (31%) and suppression of native protein expression, as demonstrated by a 56% reduction in enzyme activity and quantified by immunoblot and immunofluorescence analyses, suggesting that AsPPase has a role in the molting process. The anatomic location of the AsPPase native enzyme in the hypodermis of larvae along with its elevated expression prior to and during the molting process supports such a role. Anti-rAsPPase immunoglobulin G (IgG) also resulted in 57% inhibition of molting of A. suum lung-stage third-stage larvae to fourth-stage larvae in vitro with developmental arrest. Antigenic epitopes of AsPPase overlapped the enzyme active sites. Mice immunized with rAsPPase exhibited high antigen-specific IgG antibody responses and were protected (>70%) against a challenge A. suum migratory-phase infection. Splenic T cells from rAsPPase-immunized mice produced low levels of T helper 1-type cytokines (gamma interferon and interleukin-2) in vitro but exhibited an elevated interleukin-10 response. A significantly high level of IgG1 subclass antibodies was found in immunized mice. Our results establish that AsPPase has a critical role in the molting and development of Ascaris roundworms and suggest the potential of AsPPase for use as a candidate vaccine against ascariasis.
doi:10.1128/IAI.73.4.1995-2004.2005
PMCID: PMC1087427  PMID: 15784540
18.  Effect of Secondary Insults upon Aquaporin-4 Water Channels following Experimental Cortical Contusion in Rats 
Journal of Neurotrauma  2010;27(1):229-239.
Abstract
Although secondary insults of hypoxia and hypotension (HH) are generally considered to cause fulminant brain edema in traumatic brain injury (TBI), the combined effect of TBI with HH on brain edema and specifically the expression of aquaporin-4 (AQP4) have not been fully elucidated. The goal of this study was to document the effect of secondary insults on brain water, AQP4 expression, electrolytes, and blood–brain barrier (BBB) permeability during the acute stage of edema development. We measured brain water content and electrolytes (series 1); BBB permeability based on Evans blue (EB) dye extravasation (series 2); and AQP4 expression using immunoblotting (series 3) at 1 h and 5 h following cortical contusion injury (CCI). Secondary insults significantly worsened BBB function at 5 h post injury. Moreover, a significant reduction of upregulation on AQP4 expression was observed in trauma, coupled with a mild secondary insult of hypoxia hypotension. These findings indicate that a secondary insult following CCI at 5 h post injury worsens brain edema, disrupts ionic homeostasis, and blunts the normal upregulation of AQP4 that occurs after trauma, suggesting that the blunting of AQP4 may contribute to the detrimental effects of secondary insults.
doi:10.1089/neu.2009.0933
PMCID: PMC2824232  PMID: 19705963
aquaporin-4; blood–brain barrier; brain edema; controlled cortical impact; secondary insult; traumatic brain injury
19.  Incidence of bacteremia in stressed and unstressed populations of the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus. 
The incidence of bacteremia in the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus, is reported to be in excess of 80%. Because these results have been controversial, a field study was initiated to determine the effect of commercial capture and handling stresses on the incidence and levels of infection in blue crabs. The majority (75%) of "unstressed" crabs which were captured individually and bled immediately upon removal from the water were bacteremic, with a geometric mean level of infection of 14 CFU/ml of hemolymph. Crabs collected by crab pot, confined within these pots for as long as 24 h, and sampled immediately after removal from the water had a similar mean level of infection. Crabs subjected to the stresses of commercial capture, handling, and transport showed a higher incidence of infection (91%) and a mean infection level of 46 CFU/ml. Injuries sustained by crabs during commercial handling are thought to be associated with the higher incidence of infection. Vibrio spp. were primarily responsible for progressive infections in commercially stressed crabs and were the predominant bacterial type in heavily infected crabs. Our results indicated that uninjured healthy crabs do not have sterile hemolymph but instead harbor low-level bacterial infections.
PMCID: PMC238636  PMID: 4051486
20.  Aquaporin 4 is a Ubiquitously Expressed Isoform in the Dogfish (Squalus acanthias) Shark 
The dogfish ortholog of aquaporin 4 (AQP4) was amplified from cDNA using degenerate PCR followed by cloning and sequencing. The complete coding region was then obtained using 5′ and 3′ RACE techniques. Alignment of the sequence with AQP4 amino acid sequences from other species showed that dogfish AQP4 has high levels (up to 65.3%) of homology with higher vertebrate sequences but lower levels of homology to Agnathan (38.2%) or teleost (57.5%) fish sequences. Northern blotting indicated that the dogfish mRNA was approximately 3.2 kb and was highly expressed in the rectal gland (a shark fluid secretory organ). Semi-quantitative PCR further indicates that AQP4 is ubiquitous, being expressed in all tissues measured but at low levels in certain tissues, where the level in liver > gill >  intestine. Manipulation of the external environmental salinity of groups of dogfish showed that when fish were acclimated in stages to 120% seawater (SW) or 75% SW, there was no change in AQP4 mRNA expression in either rectal gland, kidney, or esophagus/cardiac stomach. Whereas quantitative PCR experiments using the RNA samples from the same experiment, showed a significant 63.1% lower abundance of gill AQP4 mRNA expression in 120% SW-acclimated dogfish. The function of dogfish AQP4 was also determined by measuring the effect of the AQP4 expression in Xenopus laevis oocytes. Dogfish AQP4 expressing-oocytes, exhibited significantly increased osmotic water permeability (Pf) compared to controls, and this was invariant with pH. Permeability was not significantly reduced by treatment of oocytes with mercury chloride, as is also the case with AQP4 in other species. Similarly AQP4 expressing-oocytes did not exhibit enhanced urea or glycerol permeability, which is also consistent with the water-selective property of AQP4 in other species.
doi:10.3389/fphys.2011.00107
PMCID: PMC3254168  PMID: 22291652
aquaporin 4; shark; dogfish; kidney; liver; rectal gland; gill; cardiac stomach
21.  Plasticity of both planar cell polarity and cell identity during the development of Drosophila 
eLife  2014;3:e01569.
Drosophila has helped us understand the genetic mechanisms of pattern formation. Particularly useful have been those organs in which different cell identities and polarities are displayed cell by cell in the cuticle and epidermis (Lawrence, 1992; Bejsovec and Wieschaus, 1993; Freeman, 1997). Here we use the pattern of larval denticles and muscle attachments and ask how this pattern is maintained and renewed over the larval moult cycles. During larval growth each epidermal cell increases manyfold in size but neither divides nor dies. We follow individuals from moult to moult, tracking marked cells and find that, as cells are repositioned and alter their neighbours, their identities change to compensate and the pattern is conserved. Single cells adopting a new fate may even acquire a new polarity: an identified cell that makes a forward-pointing denticle in the first larval stage may make a backward-pointing denticle in the second and third larval stages.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01569.001
eLife digest
Fly larvae grow in an unusual way. Most embryos grow by increasing the number of cells in the embryo, but fly larvae grow by increasing the size of their cells. The epidermal cells in the growing larvae secrete a hard skin or cuticle that is renewed three times as they grow. This cuticle is decorated with teeth called denticles that the larvae use to grip surfaces as they crawl on them. The denticles are arranged in six rows during all three larval stages.
It has long been assumed that if a cell in the first larval stage makes the denticles belonging to a given row, then the same cell will make denticles in the same row in the second and third larval stages. Now Saavedra et al. report that this assumption is mistaken and that the epidermal cells rearrange extensively between the first and second larval stages, and that cells acquire different identities to keep the pattern constant.
Saavedra et al. marked small groups of cells in the embryo and plotted the positions of these cells as the larvae progressed through the three stages of development. These measurements showed that as the larvae grow, the cells changed their positions relative to each other. This meant that, in order to keep essentially the same pattern of denticle rows, the cells had to change their identity.
Some of these changes were quite dramatic. Consider, for example, the embryonic cells that make the denticles in the second of the six rows during the first larval stage. In the embryo, these cells are tendons and attach to the muscles needed for crawling. Saavedra et al. found that these cells remain attached to the same muscles throughout growth, but that they do not make denticles during the second and third larval stages. Instead, the denticles in the second row of later larval stages are made by other cells, and these new second row cells are not attached to any muscles. In another example of these changes, some cells make denticles that point away from the head during the first larval stage, and then make denticles that point towards the head during later stages. Thus, cells can change both their identity (e.g., whether they are attached to muscles or not) and their orientation (also known as the cell polarity) during the development of a larva.
The work of Saavedra et al. illustrates how organisms adapt developmental mechanisms that have been stabilised for millions of years and for this reason limit the kinds of morphological changes that are possible.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01569.002
doi:10.7554/eLife.01569
PMCID: PMC3918708  PMID: 24520160
planar cell polarity; pattern; denticles; convergent extension; Drosophila; D. melanogaster
22.  Uptake and survival of enteric viruses in the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus. 
Uptake of poliovirus 1 by the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus, was measured to assess the likelihood of contamination by human enteric viruses. Virus was found in all parts of the crab within 2 h after the crab was placed in contaminated artificial seawater. The highest concentrations of virus were found in the hemolymph and digestive tract, but the meat also contained virus. The concentration of virus in the crabs was generally less than in the surrounding water. Changes in salinity did not substantially affect the rate of accumulation. An increase in temperature from 15 to 25 degrees C increased the rates of both uptake and removal. Poliovirus survived up to 6 days in crabs at a temperature of 15 degrees C and a salinity of 10 g/kg. When contaminated crabs were boiled, 99.9% of poliovirus 1, simian rotavirus SA11, and a natural isolate of echovirus 1 were inactivated within 8 min. These data demonstrate that viruses in crabs should not pose a serious health hazard if recommended cooking procedures are used.
PMCID: PMC243665  PMID: 6261683
23.  Aquaporins in Spinal Cord Injury: The Janus Face of AQP4 
Neuroscience  2010;168(4):1019-1035.
Although malfunction of spinal cord water channels (aquaporins, AQP) likely contributes to severe disturbances in ion/water homeostasis after spinal cord injury (SCI), their roles are still poorly understood. Here we report and discuss the potential significance of changes in the AQP4 expression in human SCI that generates GFAP-labeled astrocytes devoid of AQP4, and GFAP-labeled astroglia that overexpress AQP4.
We used a rat model of contusion SCI to study observed changes in human SCI. AQP4-negative astrocytes are likely generated during the process of SCI-induced replacement of lost astrocytes, but their origin and role in SCI remains to be investigated. We found that AQP4-overexpression is likely triggered by hypoxia. Our transcriptional profiling of injured rat cords suggests that elevated AQP4-mediated water influx accompanies increased uptake of chloride and potassium ions which represents a protective astrocytic reaction to hypoxia. However, unbalanced water intake also results in astrocytic swelling that can contribute to motor impairment, but likely only in milder injuries. In severe rat SCI, a low abundance of AQP4-overexpressing astrocytes was found during the motor recovery phase. Our results suggest that severe rat contusion SCI is a better model to analyze AQP4 functions after SCI. We found that AQP4 increases in the chronic post-injury phase are associated with the development of pain-like behavior in SCI rats, while possible mechanisms underlying pain development may involve astrocytic swelling-induced glutamate release. In contrast, the formation and size of fluid-filled cavities occurring later after SCI does not appear to be affected by the extent of increased AQP4 levels. Therefore, the effect of therapeutic interventions targeting AQP4 will depend not only on the time interval after SCI or animal models, but also on the balance between protective role of increased AQP4 in hypoxia and deleterious effects of ongoing astrocytic swelling.
doi:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2010.01.037
PMCID: PMC2885549  PMID: 20109536
Human Spinal Cord Injury; AQP4-negative astrocytes; Interleukin 1 receptor antagonist; AQP4-overexpressing astrocytes; Cytotoxic edema; Hypoxia; Bumetanide; Pain; Fluid-filled cavity; Motor recovery
24.  An Allograft Glioma Model Reveals the Dependence of Aquaporin-4 Expression on the Brain Microenvironment 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(5):e36555.
Aquaporin-4 (AQP4), the main water channel of the brain, is highly expressed in animal glioma and human glioblastoma in situ. In contrast, most cultivated glioma cell lines don’t express AQP4, and primary cell cultures of human glioblastoma lose it during the first passages. Accordingly, in C6 cells and RG2 cells, two glioma cell lines of the rat, and in SMA mouse glioma cell lines, we found no AQP4 expression. We confirmed an AQP4 loss in primary human glioblastoma cell cultures after a few passages. RG-2 glioma cells if grafted into the brain developed AQP4 expression. This led us consider the possibility of AQP4 expression depends on brain microenvironment. In previous studies, we observed that the typical morphological conformation of AQP4 as orthogonal arrays of particles (OAP) depended on the extracellular matrix component agrin. In this study, we showed for the first time implanted AQP4 negative glioma cells in animal brain or flank to express AQP4 specifically in the intracerebral gliomas but neither in the extracranial nor in the flank gliomas. AQP4 expression in intracerebral gliomas went along with an OAP loss, compared to normal brain tissue. AQP4 staining in vivo normally is polarized in the astrocytic endfoot membranes at the glia limitans superficialis and perivascularis, but in C6 and RG2 tumors the AQP4 staining is redistributed over the whole glioma cell as in human glioblastoma. In contrast, primary rat or mouse astrocytes in culture did not lose their ability to express AQP4, and they were able to form few OAPs.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0036555
PMCID: PMC3348884  PMID: 22590566
25.  Anti-Aquaporin-1 Autoantibodies in Patients with Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorders 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e74773.
Autoantibodies against aquaporin-4 (AQP4), a water channel in CNS astrocytes, are detected in ∼50–80% of patients with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (NMOsd), characterized by longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis (LETM) and/or optic neuritis. Although these autoantibodies present an invaluable biomarker for NMOsd and for the differential diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS), diagnosis of anti-AQP4-seronegative NMOsd remains challenging. We hypothesized that seronegative NMOsd patients might have autoantibodies against aquaporin-1 (AQP1), another water channel in CNS astrocytes. We initially developed a radioimmunoprecipitation assay to search for anti-AQP1 antibodies in sera from 632 individuals. Anti-AQP1 or anti-AQP4 autoantibodies were detected in 16.7% and 12%, respectively, of 348 patients with suspected NMOsd. Anti-AQP1 specificity was confirmed by competition, protein immunoblotting and ELISA assays, whereas epitope localization was studied by immunoadsorption on intact cells expressing AQP1 and peptide mapping experiments. Most anti-AQP1 autoantibodies were of the complement-activating IgG1 subclass and the majority bound to the extracellular domain of AQP1, suggesting a possible pathogenic role. Five out of 42 MS patients had anti-AQP1 antibodies, but 2 of them also had spinal cord lesions, while the anti-AQP1 antibodies in the other 3 bound to the cytoplasmic domain of AQP1. Anti-AQP1 antibodies were not detected in 100 healthy individuals or 142 patients with non-demyelinating neuroimmune diseases. Analysis of 17 anti-AQP1+/anti-AQP4- patients with suspected NMOsd showed that 5 had NMO and 11 had LETM. 12/17 of these sera bound predominantly to the extracellular AQP1 loop-Α. Overall, we found that anti-AQP1 autoantibodies are present in a subgroup of patients with chronic demyelination in the CNS and similarities with anti-AQP4-seronegative NMOsd, offering a novel potential biomarker for CNS demyelination disorders.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0074773
PMCID: PMC3781161  PMID: 24086369

Results 1-25 (938512)