Aquaporins contribute to vacuoles formation in Nile grass type II diabetic rats

Kana Aihara, Yosuke Nakazawa, Shun Takeda, Natsuko Hatsusaka, Takanori Onouchi, Noriko Hiramatsu, Mayumi Nagata, Noriaki Nagai, Megumi Funakoshi-Tago, Naoki Yamamoto, Hiroshi Sasaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Regulation of ion and water microcirculation within the lens is tightly controlled through aquaporin channels and connexin junctions. However, cataracts can occur when the lens becomes cloudy. Various factors can induce cataracts, including diabetes which is a well-known cause. The most common phenotype of diabetic cataracts is a cortical and/or posterior subcapsular opacity. In addition to the three main types and two subtypes of cataracts, a vacuole formation is frequently observed; however, their origin remains unclear. In this study, we focused on the aquaporins and connexins involved in diabetes-induced cataracts and vacuoles in Nile grass type II diabetes. The results showed that the expression of aquaporin 0 and aquaporin 5 increased, and that of connexin 43 decreased in diabetic rat lenses. Additionally, aquaporin 0 and 5 were strongly localized in peripheral of vacuoles, suggesting that aquaporins are involved in vacuoles formation. Transillumination photography revealed large vacuoles at the tip of the Y-suture in the anterior capsule of the diabetic lens, and several small vacuoles were observed in the posterior capsule. Within the vacuoles, cytoplasmic degradation and aggregation of fibrous material were observed. Our findings suggest that aquaporins are potential candidate proteins for preventing vacuole formation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMedical Molecular Morphology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Biology


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