Korean J Androl.  2007 Dec;25(3):135-140.

Expression and Translocation of Aquaporin (AQP)-1 after Pelvic Nerve Stimulation in Rat Vagina

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Urology, Chonnam National University Medical School, Gwangju, Korea. uropark@gmail.com
  • 2Department of Anatomy, Chonnam National University Medical School, Gwangju, Korea.
  • 3Department of Veterinary Physiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Chonnam National University, Gwangju, Korea.

Abstract

PURPOSE: Aquaporins (AQPs) are membrane proteins that facilitate water movement across biological membranes. The purposes of this study were to investigate the localization and functional roles of AQP-1 water channels in rat vagina.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Female Sprague-Dawley rats (230~240 g, n=40) were anesthetized. To investigate the expression and localization of AQPs in the vagina, the vaginal branch of the pelvic nerve was stimulated for 60 seconds (10 V, 16 Hz, 0.8 msec), and then the animals were sacrificed immediately or 5 minutes later. The expression and cellular localization of AQP-1 in the vaginal tissue was measured by Western blot and immunohistochemistry. The cytosolic (or intracellular membrane) and plasma membrane fractions of AQP-1 in vaginal tissue were studied by immunoblot analysis.
RESULTS
Immunolabeling showed that AQP-1 was mainly expressed in the capillaries and venules of the vagina. The translocation of AQP-1 isoforms from the cytosolic compartment to the plasma membrane compartment was observed right after nerve stimulation and had declined at 5 minutes after nerve stimulation. However, when the nerve stimulation was repeated 3 times, the translocation of AQP-1 from the intracellular membrane compartment to the plasma membrane compartment was still observed at 5 minutes.
CONCLUSIONS
This study suggests that sexual arousal induced by pelvic nerve stimulation modulates AQP-1 activity in the rat vagina. This result implies that AQP-1 may play an important role in vaginal lubrication.

Keyword

Aquaporin-1; Vagina; Rat; Lubrication

MeSH Terms

Animals
Aquaporins
Arousal
Blotting, Western
Capillaries
Cell Membrane
Cytosol
Female
Humans
Immunohistochemistry
Intracellular Membranes
Lubrication
Membrane Proteins
Membranes
Protein Isoforms
Rats*
Rats, Sprague-Dawley
Vagina*
Venules
Water Movements
Aquaporins
Membrane Proteins
Protein Isoforms
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