In vivo inhibition of transcellular water channels (aquaporin-1) during acute peritoneal dialysis in rats

Ola Carlsson, Søren Nielsen, E. L. Rasheid Zakaria, Bengt Rippe

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118 Scopus citations


During peritoneal dialysis (PD), a major portion of the osmotically induced water transport to the peritoneum can be predicted to occur through endothelial water-selective channels. Aquaporin-1 (AQP-1) has recently been recognized as the molecular correlate to such channels. Aquaporins can be inhibited by mercurials. In the present study, HgCl2 was applied locally to the peritoneal cavity in rats after short-term tissue fixation, used to protect the tissues from HgCl2 damage. Dianeal (3.86%) was employed as dialysis fluid, 125I-albumin as an intraperitoneal volume marker, and 51Cr-EDTA (constantly infused intravenously) to assess peritoneal small- solute permeability characteristics. Immunocytochemistry and immunoelectron microscopy revealed abundant AQP-1 labeling in capillary endothelium in peritoneal tissues, representing sites for HgCl2 inhibition of water transport. HgCl2 treatment reduced water flow and inhibited the sieving of Na+ without causing any untoward changes in microvascular permeability, compared with that of fixed control rats, in which the peritoneal cavity was exposed to tissue fixation alone. In fixed control rats, the mean intraperitoneal volume (IPV) increased from 20.5 ± 0.15 to 25.0 ± 0.52 ml in 60 min, whereas in the HgCl2-treated rats, the increment was only from 20.7 ± 0.23 to 23.5 ± 0.4 ml. In fixed control rats, the dialysate Na+ fell from 135.3 ± 0.97 to 131.3 ± 1.72 mM, whereas in the HgCl2-treated rats the dialysate Na+ concentration remained unchanged between 0 and 40 min, further supporting that water channels had been blocked. Computer simulations of peritoneal transport were compatible with a 66% inhibition of water flow through aquaporms. The observed HgCl2 inhibition of transcellular water channels strongly indicates a critical role of aquaporins in PD and provides evidence that water channels are crucial in transendothelial water transport when driven by crystalloid osmosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H2254-H2262
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number6 40-6
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • capillary permeability
  • water transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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