, Volume 208, Issue 1, pp 55-64

Roles of Aquaporin-3 Water Channels in Volume-Regulatory Water Flow in a Human Epithelial Cell Line

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Abstract

Membrane water transport is an essential event not only in the osmotic cell volume change but also in the subsequent cell volume regulation. Here we investigated the route of water transport involved in the regulatory volume decrease (RVD) that occurs after osmotic swelling in human epithelial Intestine 407 cells. The diffusion water permeability coefficient (Pd) measured by NMR under isotonic conditions was much smaller than the osmotic water permeability coefficient (Pf) measured under an osmotic gradient. Temperature dependence of Pf showed the Arrhenius activation energy (Ea) of a low value (1.6 kcal/mol). These results indicate an involvement of a facilitated diffusion mechanism in osmotic water transport. A mercurial water channel blocker (HgCl2) diminished the Pf value. A non-mercurial sulfhydryl reagent (MMTS) was also effective. These blockers of water channels suppressed the RVD. RT-PCR and immunocytochemistry demonstrated predominant expression of AQP3 water channel in this cell line. Downregulation of AQP3 expression induced by treatment with antisense oligodeoxynucleotides was found to suppress the RVD response. Thus, it is concluded that AQP3 water channels serve as an essential pathway for volume-regulatory water transport in, human epithelial cells.