Anaemia stimulates aquaporin 1 expression in the fetal sheep heart

S. S. Jonker, L. E. Davis, J. D.W. van der Bilt, B. Hadder, A. R. Hohimer, G. D. Giraud, K. L. Thornburg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Interstitial fluid fluxes are much greater in the fetus than in the adult, and filtration rates are increased over control in most tissues of the anaemic fetus. Increased capillary filtration may lead to cardiac oedema which, in turn, severely impacts cardiac function. Mechanisms that underlie these differences in flux are incompletely understood. One possible mechanism is an increase in capillary water permeability. Therefore, the goal of our study was to determine the level of expression of the water channel aquaporin 1 (AQP1) during cardiac development and in the anaemic fetal sheep heart. Hearts from chronically instrumented anaemic sheep fetuses and hearts from normal early fetal, late fetal, neonatal and adult sheep were used for Northern and Western analyses and immunohistochemistry. We found that AQP1 mRNA levels were lower in the young fetal left ventricle than in the adult left ventricle (P < 0.05). We also found that cardiac AQP1 expression was increased in anaemic fetuses compared to age-matched controls (P < 0.05). Expression of AQP1 in all groups was greatest in the microvascular endothelium. These data suggest that AQP1 plays an important role in the physiological accommodation to fetal anaemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)691-698
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Physiology (medical)


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