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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

Aquaporin 4 Silencing Aggravates Hydrocephalus Induced by Injection of Autologous Blood in Rats

Jian Guo, Xinjiang Mi, Rucai Zhan, Meng Li, Lin Wei, Jinlong Sun

First Department of Neurosurgery, Shandong Provincial Qianfoshan Hospital, Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24: ANS4204-4212

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.906936

Available online: 2018-06-20

Published: 2018-06-20


BACKGROUND: Aquaporin 4 (AQP4), the most abundant aquaporin in the brain, is a type of bidirectional water channel controlling the brain-water balance and plays a critical role in physiologic and pathologic water balance in the brain. AQP4 was reported to be elevated in hydrocephalus; therefore, we hypothesized that AQP4 contributes to hydrocephalus. In this study, the role of AQP4 in hydrocephalus was explored.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: The hydrocephalus rat model was established by injection of autologous blood. On Day 1 and Day 3 after injection of autologous blood, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and hematoxylin-eosin (HE) staining were performed to detect the changes in ventricles, and quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) and immunohistochemistry were carried out to detect the changes in AQP4 level. Thereafter, an AQP4-specific siRNA was used to downregulate AQP4. Then, on Day 3 after injection of autologous blood, the levels of AQP4 and connexin-43 were detected by qRT-PCR, immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, or Western blot analysis. MRI and HE staining were performed to detect the changes in ventricles, and Evans blue extravasation assay was used to assess blood-brain barrier integrity.
RESULTS: The hydrocephalus rat model was established successfully, and hydrocephalus rats showed a higher AQP4 level. Silencing AQP4 aggravated the hydrocephalus, with enlarged lateral ventricles and destruction of ependymal integrity and blood-brain barrier.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study demonstrates that silencing AQP4 aggravates hydrocephalus, indicating that AQP4 protects against hydrocephalus.

Keywords: Aquaporin 4, Blood-Brain Barrier, Ependyma, Hydrocephalus