Expression and significance of aquaporins during pregnancy
Outcome of a pregnancy is dependent on highquality ovulation, successful fertilization, normal embryonic and fetal development, and homeostasis of amniotic fluid. Throughout pregnancy, aquaporins are expressed in the placenta, uterus, adnexa, brain, urinary system, and the lacrimal gland. The regional and temporal regulation of aquaporins play important roles in normal pregnancy, fetal growth, and homeostasis of amniotic fluid volume, and water handling in other organs. The pregnant phenotypes of aquaporin-knockout mice provide direct evidence that aquaporins deficiency results in adverse outcome of pregnancy. Therefore, screening for modulation of aquaporin in abnormal pregnancy becomes desirable. Alteration of aquaporins is seen in preeclampsia, abnormal amniotic fluid volume, chorioamnionitis, and maternal under-nourished pregnancy. Although the functional importance of aquaporins remains to be elucidated, its expression and regulation in abnormal pregnancy suggests potential therapeutic strategies for the treatment of abnormal pregnancy.