Aquaporins are upregulated in glandular epithelium at the time of implantation in the rat
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Regulation of luminal fluid is essential for blastocyst implantation. While it has been known for quite some time that there is a reduction in the amount of luminal fluid at the time of implantation, the mechanisms regulating this process are only just emerging. Previous studies have shown an upregulation of aquaporin (AQP) 5 channels in luminal epithelial cells at the time of implantation providing a mechanism for fluid reabsorption across the surface epithelium. However to date the contribution of fluid reabsorption by glandular epithelial cells has not been established. This study using reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction demonstrates the presence of several AQP isoforms in the rat uterus at the time of implantation while immunofluorescence data demonstrates an apical distribution of AQPs5 and 9 in the glandular epithelium at the time of implantation. The presence of AQPs5 and 9 in the apical plasma membrane of the glandular epithelium seen in this study provides a mechanism for transcellular fluid transport across these glandular epithelial cells similar to that seen in luminal epithelial cells. The reabsorption of glandular fluid via AQP channels may also regulate luminal fluid volume and be involved in the reduction in luminal fluid seen at the time of implantation.