Acta Vet. Brno 2015, 84: 321-326

Immunohistochemical localization of aquaporin 4 (AQP4) in the porcine gastrointestinal tract

Marcin Bartłomiej Arciszewski1, Małgorzata Matysek1, Waldemar Sienkiewicz2

1University of Life Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Animal Anatomy and Histology, Lublin, Poland
2University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Animal Anatomy, Olsztyn, Poland

Received October 11, 2014
Accepted May 13, 2015

The water channel aquaporin-4 (AQP4) is a protein widely expressed on plasma membrane of a variety of epithelial cells. In this study we investigated the expression of AQP4 in the gastrointestinal tract of the pig using immunohistochemical staining. We found no presence of AQP4 in the different regions of the pig stomach. In the porcine small intestine moderate immunoreactivity to AQP4 was detected in enterocytes (along the villi and in the bottom of the crypts), duodenal Brunner’s glands and in enteric ganglia in cells lying in close vicinity to myenteric as well as submucous neurons. In superficial epithelial cells of the colonic mucosa as well as of caecal and colonic glands a very strong immunoreactivity to AQP4 was found. Both in the myenteric and submucous ganglia of the large intestine AQP4-positive cells surrounding enteric neurons were observed. We concluded that AQP4 expression in the porcine gastrointestinal tract showed some species-dependent differences in relation to other species. Based on the presented distribution pattern of AQP4, it is likely that the aquaporin plays a role in mucous (but not acid) secretion and intestinal absorptive processes in the pig.


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