Aquaporin-4 protein expression in normal canine brains

Patricia Álvarez, Ester Blasco, Martí Pumarola, Annette Wessmann*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Background: Aquaporin-4 (AQP4) is in growing recognition as potential marker for cancer progression, differentiation and therapeutic intervention. No information is available about AQP4 expression in the normal canine brain. The aim of this histopathological study is to confirm the presence of AQP4 by immunohistochemistry technique in a group of non-pathological canine brains and to describe its expression and distribution across the brain. Results: Twelve non-pathological canine brains of various ages (ranging from 21 days to 17 years) and breeds were included in the study. Immunohistochemical expression of AQP4 was analyzed using formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded brain tissue sections. The findings were correlated between AQP4 expressing cells and astrocytes using glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). AQP4 expression was more marked in the astrocyte foot processes of subpial, perivascular and periventricular surfaces in all specimens. The majority of the canine brain sections (9/12) presented with an AQP4 predilection for white matter tracts. Interestingly, the two youngest dogs (21 days and 3 months old) were characterized by diffuse AQP4 labelling in both grey and white matter tracts. This result may suggest that brain development and ageing may play a role in the AQP4 distribution throughout the canine brain. Conclusions: This is the first study to describe immunohistochemical distribution of AQP4 in normal canine brains. The AQP4 expression and distribution in non-pathological canine brains was comparable to other species. Larger studies are needed to substantiate the influence of breed and ageing on AQP4 expression in the normal canine brain.

Original languageEnglish
Article number29
Pages (from-to)29
Number of pages8
JournalBMC Veterinary Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2021


  • Aquaporin-4
  • Brain
  • Brain development
  • Dog
  • Grey matter
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Non-pathological
  • Non‐pathological
  • White matter


Dive into the research topics of 'Aquaporin-4 protein expression in normal canine brains'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this