IMR Press / FBL / Volume 20 / Issue 5 / DOI: 10.2741/4341

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Open Access Review
Aquaporins in the female reproductive system of mammals
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1 Institute of Animal Science, Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences; Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition and Feed Science in South China, Ministry of Agriculture; State Key Laboratory of Livestock and Poultry Breeding; Key Laboratory of Poultry Genetics and Breeding, Ministry of Agriculture; Guangdong Public Laboratory of Animal Breeding and Nutrition
2 Department of Animal Science, Texas A and M University, 2471 TAMU, College Station, Texas, 77843-2471
Academic Editor:Guoyao Wu
Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2015, 20(5), 838–871; https://doi.org/10.2741/4341
Published: 1 January 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Amino acids in nutrition, health, and disease)
Abstract

Water and ion accumulation is the driving force for rapid expansion of the amnion and allantois of mammalian placentae during early gestation, and, therefore, essential for embryonic/fetal growth and survival. Aquaporins (AQP) are a family of small integral plasma membrane proteins that primarily transport water across the plasma membrane. To date, thirteen AQP isoforms (AQP 0-12) have been identified in mammals. AQP 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 11 are expressed in the female reproductive tract. Based on their structural and functional properties, AQPs are divided into three subgroups: classical aquaporins (AQP 0, 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, and 8), aquaglyceroporins (AQP 3, 7, 9, and 10), and superaquaporins (AQP 11 and 12). Expression of AQPs in the uterus and placenta is regulated by hormones and nutrients to maintain fluid homeostasis in the conceptus. The underlying mechanisms may involve signal transduction pathways mediated by cAMP, MAPK, PKC, and PI3K/Akt/mTOR. Such new knowledge will advance basic understanding of mammalian reproductive biology to enhance embryonic/fetal survival, growth and development in women and livestock.

Keywords
Aquaporin
Female Reproductive System
Pregnancy
Water Channel Protein
Review
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