Author(s): MacAulay N, Zeuthen T
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Abstract Large water fluxes continuously take place between the different compartments of the brain as well as between the brain parenchyma and the blood or cerebrospinal fluid. This water flux is tightly regulated but may be disturbed under pathological conditions that lead to brain edema formation or hydrocephalus. The molecular pathways by which water molecules cross the cell membranes of the brain are not well-understood, although the discovery of aquaporin 4 (AQP4) in the brain improved our understanding of some of these transport processes, particularly under pathological conditions. In the present review we introduce another family of transport proteins as water transporters, namely the cotransporters and the glucose uniport GLUT1. In direct contrast to the aquaporins, these proteins have an inherent ability to transport water against an osmotic gradient. Some of them may also function as water pores in analogy to the aquaporins. The putative role of cotransport proteins and uniports for the water flux into the glial cells, through the choroid plexus and across the endothelial cells of the blood-brain-barrier will be discussed and compared to the contribution of the aquaporins. Copyright (c) 2010 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Neuroscience
and referenced in Journal of Alzheimers Disease & Parkinsonism