The Water-absorption Region of Ventral Skin of Several Semiterrestrial and Aquatic Anuran Amphibians Identified by Aquaporins

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American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology





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The water-absorption region of ventral skin of several semiterrestrial and aquatic anuran amphibians identified by aquaporins. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 299: R1150-R1162, 2010. First published September 1, 2010; doi:10.1152/ajpregu.00320.2010.-Regions of specialization for water absorption across the skin of Bufonid and Ranid anurans were identified by immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis, using antibodies raised against arginine vasotocin (AVT)-stimulated aquaporins (AQPs) that are specific to absorbing regions of Hyla japonica. In Bufo marinus, labeling for Hyla urinary bladder-type AQP (AQP-h2), which is also localized in the urinary bladder, occurred in the ventral surface of the hindlimb, pelvic, and pectoral regions. AQP-h2 was not detected in any skin regions of Rana catesbeiana, Rana japonica, or Rana nigromaculata. Hyla ventral skin-type AQP (AQP-h3), which is found in the ventral skin but not the bladder of H. japonica, was localized in the hindlimb, pelvic, and pectoral skins of Bufo marinus, in addition to AQP-h2. AQP-h3 was also localized in ventral skin of the hindlimb of all three Rana species and also in the pelvic region of R. catesbiana. Messenger RNA for AQP-x3, a homolog of AQP-h3, could be identified by RT-PCR from the hindlimb, pectoral, and pelvic regions of the ventral skin of Xenopus laevis, although AVT had no effect on water permeability. In contrast, 10(-8) M AVT-stimulated water permeability and translocation of AQP-h2 and AQP-h3 into the apical membrane of epithelial cells in regions of the skin of species where they had been localized by immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis. Finally, water permeability of the hindlimb skin of B. marinus and all the Rana species was stimulated by hydrins 1 and 2 to a similar level as seen for AVT. The present data demonstrate species differences in the occurrence, distribution, and regulation of AQPs in regions of skin specialized for rapid water absorption that can be associated with habitat and also phylogeny.


hindlimb skin; arginine vasotocin; immunohistochemistry; water permeability; frogs

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