Astrocyte-specific expression of aquaporin-9 in mouse brain is increased after transient focal cerebral ischemia.
Aquaporin-9 (AQP9) is a new member of the aquaporin family of water-selective channels mainly expressed in liver and testis, presenting the characteristic of also being permeable to various solutes, particularly lactate. Recent data have shown the presence of AQP9 on tanycytes in the rat brain. In the current study, the authors show the expression of AQP9 in astrocytes in the mouse brain and changes in its expression after cerebral ischemia. Indeed, in control mouse, the AQP9 immunolabeling is present on astrocytic processes bordering the subarachnoid space and ventricles. The labeling also is observed on astrocytes in the white matter, hippocampus, hypothalamus, and lateral septum. After focal transient ischemia, an increase of the immunolabeling is detected on astrocytes in periinfarct areas. This AQP9 distribution study in mouse brain suggests a role of AQP9 in water homeostasis in the central nervous system. Furthermore, the overexpression of AQP9 on astrocytes surrounding an ischemic lesion suggests that AQP9 may also play a role in the regulation of postischemia edema and, in view of its permeability to monocarboxylates, in the clearance of lactate from the ischemic focus.