January 1999
Volume 40, Issue 1
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Articles  |   January 1999
Cultured bovine corneal epithelial cells express a functional aquaporin water channel.
Author Affiliations
  • F Kang
    Department of Ophthalmology and Physiology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, New York 10032, USA.
  • K Kuang
    Department of Ophthalmology and Physiology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, New York 10032, USA.
  • J Li
    Department of Ophthalmology and Physiology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, New York 10032, USA.
  • J Fischbarg
    Department of Ophthalmology and Physiology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, New York 10032, USA.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science January 1999, Vol.40, 253-257. doi:
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    • Get Citation

      F Kang, K Kuang, J Li, J Fischbarg; Cultured bovine corneal epithelial cells express a functional aquaporin water channel.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1999;40(1):253-257.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

PURPOSE: Given recent physiological and in situ hybridization evidence for the presence of a water channel in corneal epithelium, this study was conducted to investigate its expression and characteristics using cultured bovine corneal epithelial cells (CBCEPCs). METHODS: CBCEPCs were grown in DMEM containing 2 ng/ml fibroblast growth factor and 6% fetal bovine serum. To determine their osmotic permeability (Pf), cells were passaged onto rectangular glass coverslips, and anisotonically induced volume changes were monitored by light scattering. To investigate expression, poly(A+) RNA from CBCEPCs was injected into Xenopus laevis oocytes, and the Pf of the oocytes was determined. RESULTS: For CBCEPCs challenged with a 10% hypotonic solution at 37 degrees C, the kinetic constant of volume change was k=0.52+/-0.04 seconds(-1), and the calculated Pf 72+/-6 microm/sec (n=16). The Pf of oocytes injected with water was 14+/-1.8 microm/sec (n=4); injection with poly(A+) RNA from CBCEPCs increased Pf to 77+/-6 microm/sec (n=6). This increase in Pf was inhibited by 72% (reduced to 22+/-1 microm/sec) by 0.3 mM HgCl2 and was inhibited by 56% to 58% by coinjection with aquaporin (AQP)5 antisense oligonucleotide. CONCLUSIONS: The comparatively high Pf determined for CBCEPCs, the presence of mRNA encoding water channels, and sensitivity to mercurial agents are typical of the expression of functional water channels. The predominant message is for AQP5, although the evidence was consistent with the presence of additional water channels. These findings bring renewed support for the notion that the epithelium can contribute to corneal hydration homeostasis.

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