Immunolocalization of aquaporin water channels in the domestic cat male genital tract.Reprod Domest Anim. 2014 Feb; 49(1):17-26.RD
Four different aquaporins (AQP1, 2, 5 and 9), integral membrane water channels that facilitate rapid passive movement of water, were immuno-localized in the excurrent ducts collected from sexually mature cats during orchiectomy. Aquaporins 1, 2 and 9, were immuno-localized at distinct levels, whereas AQP5 was undetectable all along the feline genital tract. No immunoreactivity was present at the level of the rete testis with any of the antibodies tested. In the efferent ducts, AQP1-immunoreactivity was strongly evidenced at the apical surface of the non-ciliated cells, and AQP9-immunoreactivity was shown at the periphery of both ciliated and non-ciliated cells. Aquaporins 2 was absent in the caput epididymidis, either in the efferent ducts or in the epididymal duct. Otherwise, AQP2 was increasingly localized at the adluminal surface of principal cells from the corpus to the cauda epididymidis and more weakly in the vas deferens epithelium. The supranuclear zone of the epididymal principal cells was AQP9-immunoreactive throughout the duct, with the exclusion of the vacuolated sub-region of the caput and with higher reaction intensity in the cauda region. AQP1 was present in the blood vessels all along the genital tract. AQP1 was expressed also in the smooth muscle layer of the vas deferens. The tested AQP molecules showed a different expression pattern in comparison with laboratory mammals, primates and the dog, unique other carnivore species studied to date. The present information is possibly useful in regard to the regional morphology of the feline epididymis and correlated functions, which are still a matter of debate.