Urinary exosomes are small vesicles secreted into urine from all renal epithelial cell types and known to contain proteins that are involved in renal secretion and reabsorption. Among these proteins, urinary exosomal aquaporin-2 (AQP2) has been suggested to be useful for diagnosis of renal disease. However, the mechanisms underlying the excretion of urinary exosomal AQP2 are largely unknown. In this study, we examined the mechanisms of urinary exosomal AQP2 excretion in vivo, using diuretics including furosemide (FS), an inhibitor of the sodium-potassium-chloride symporter; acetazolamide (ACTZ), an inhibitor of carbonic anhydrase; OPC-31260 (OPC), a vasopressin type 2 receptor antagonist; and NaHCO3, a urinary alkalizing agent. Samples of urine from rats were collected for 2 h just after treatment with each diuretic, and urinary exosomes were isolated by ultracentrifugation. Urinary exosomal AQP2 excretion was dramatically increased by treatment with FS accompanied by urine acidification or with ACTZ accompanied by urine alkalization. Immunohistochemistry showed that apical localization of AQP2 was clearly evident and the plasma vasopressin level was increased after each treatment. Although treatment with OPC alone had no significant effect, coadministration of OPC completely inhibited the FS-induced and partially reduced the ACTZ-induced responses, respectively. Treatment with NaHCO3 increased the excretion of urinary exosomal AQP2 accompanied by urine alkalization. This increased response was partially inhibited by coadministration of OPC. These data suggest that an increased plasma level of vasopressin promoted the excretion of urinary exosomal AQP2 and that urine alkalinization also increased it independently of vasopressin.
Keywords: aquaporin-2; exosomes; urine alkalinization; vasopressin.