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Thuy Linh Tran, Toke Bek, Lars Holm, Morten la Cour, Søren Nielsen, Jan U. Prause, Aleksandra Rojek, Steffen Heegaard, Steffen Hamann; Localization Of Aquaporins 6 - 12 In Human Eyes. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):4071.
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Aquaporins (AQPs) is widely expressed in the human eye. The diverse distribution pattern reflects their numerous roles. AQP0 contributes to lens transparency, AQP1 is involved in secretion and drainage of aqueous humour, AQP3 and AQP5 have corneal and conjunctival barrier functions, and AQP4 plays an important role in retinal water homeostasis. In humans, only AQPs 0-5 have been specifically localized at a cellular level. Here, we report the localization of the more recently discovered AQPs 6-12 in the human eye.
RT-PCR was performed on various sections of human eye tissue. Tissue from two human eyes was examined. Beta-actin was used as control. The cellular localization of AQPs 6-12 was determined in five human eyes using immunohistochemical and immunofluorescence techniques.
Immunolabeling with anti-AQP7 antibody was seen in the cytoplasm of the basal cells of the corneal epithelium, the endothelium of the trabecular meshwork, the endothelium of small retinal capillaries and the outer limiting membrane of the retina. Labeling with anti-AQP9 antibody was found in the non-pigmented epithelium of the ciliary body and in retinal ganglion cells. RT-PCR confirmed these results. Furthermore mRNA of AQP7 and AQP9 was found in the optic nerve. AQP11 mRNA was found in the cornea including limbal area, the ciliary body, the optic nerve, retina, choroid and sclera. mRNA of AQP6, AQP8, AQP10 or AQP12 were not detected.
This study demonstrates selective expression of AQP7, AQP9 and AQP11 within different structures of the human eye. The presence of AQP7 and AQP9 in the retina suggests a role for glycerol in retinal water balance. Positive immunolabeling of AQP7 and AQP9 in the epithelium of the ciliary body suggest that these aquaporins may contribute to the production of aqueous humour. Also the presence of AQP7 in the limbal area of the cornea suggests a role for AQP7 in corneal re-epithelialization.
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