Aquaporin expression in the fetal porcine urinary tract changes during gestation

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The expression of aquaporins (AQPs) in the fetal porcine urinary tract and its relation to gestational age has not been established. Tissue samples from the renal pelvis, ureter, bladder and urethra were obtained from porcine fetuses. Samples were examined by RT-PCR (AQPs 1-11), QPCR (AQPs positive on RT-PCR), and immunohistochemistry. Bladder samples were additionally examined by Western blotting. RNA was extracted from 76 tissue samples obtained from 19 fetuses. Gestational age was 60 (n=11) or 100 days (n=8). PCR showed that AQP1, 3, 9 and 11 mRNA was expressed in all locations. The expression of AQP3 increased significantly at all four locations with gestational age, whereas AQP11 significantly decreased. AQP1 expression increased in the ureter, bladder and urethra. AQP9 mRNA expression increased in the urethra and bladder, but decreased in the ureter. AQP5 was expressed only in the urethra. Immunohistochemistry showed AQP1 staining in sub-urothelial vessels at all locations. Western blotting analysis confirmed increased AQP1 protein levels in bladder samples during gestation. Expression levels of AQP1, 3, 5, 9 and 11 in the urinary tract change during gestation, and further studies are needed to provide insights into normal and pathophysiological water handling mechanisms in the fetus.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysiological Research
Pages (from-to)283-292
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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