Heterogeneous occurrence of aquaporin-4 in the ependyma and in the circumventricular organs in rat and chicken

Oded Goren, István Adorján, Mihály Kálmán

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)


Aquaporins are selective water channel proteins critical in volume homeostasis. In the CNS AQP4 predominates, localized mainly in the glia limitans, the perivascular endfeet and ependyma. The present immunofluorescent study reveals the distribution of aquaporin-4 in the circumventricular organs in rat and chicken brains. The ventricular ependyma (especially in the third one), the subfornical organ, the area postrema, the rat pineal body (in part), and the vascular organ of lamina terminalis were marked by intense immunopositivity. Several areas, however, proved to be immunonegative: the central canal, the subcommissural organ, the ependymal zone of the median eminence in rat but its whole thickness in chicken, the subtrochlear organ, and the paraventricular organ. The immunostaining of the lateral septal and subseptal organs were similar to their environment. Results on developing rats suggested that the aquaporin-4 immunonegativity is a secondary phenomenon. Surveying other structural and functional features, no clear explanation of the heterogeneous occurrence of aquaporin-4 was found. The absence of aquaporin-4 seems to correlate with some features of the "ependymal organs" (thickened, pseudostratified ependyma, presence of blood-brain barrier) and with the avoidance of GFAP. On the other hand, the organs rich in aquaporin-4 have features of the "hypendymal organs" (glial and vascular plexus but no blood-brain barrier). There are organs, however, which do not fit into either group completely, i.e. the lateral septal and subseptal organs. Presence of tight junctions coincides with the absence of aquaporin-4 in the ependyma of spinal cord, the subcommissural organ and the ependyma of median eminence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-172
Number of pages18
JournalAnatomy and Embryology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2006


  • Ependymal organs
  • GFAP
  • Hypendymal organs
  • Median eminence
  • Pineal body
  • Subcommissural organ
  • Subtrochlear organ

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Embryology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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