Regulation of aquaporins by vasopressin in the kidney

Vitam Horm. 2015;98:307-37. doi: 10.1016/bs.vh.2014.12.008. Epub 2015 Feb 14.


Vasopressin is the main hormone that regulates water conservation in mammals and one of its major targets is the principal cells in the renal collecting duct. Vasopressin increases the apical water permeability of principal cells, mediated by apical accumulation of aquaporin-2 (AQP2), a water channel protein, thus facilitating water reabsorption by the kidney. The mechanisms underlying the accumulation of AQP2 in response to vasopressin include vesicular trafficking from intracellular storage vesicles expressing AQP2 within several tens of minutes (short-term regulation) and protein expression of AQP2 over a period of hours to days (long-term regulation). This chapter reviews vasopressin signaling in the kidney, focusing on the molecular mechanisms of short- and long-term regulations of AQP2 expression.

Keywords: Aquaporin-2; Aquaporins; Exosomes; Kidney; Protein degradation; Trafficking; Transcription; Urinary concentration; Vasopressin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aquaporin 2 / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Kidney / metabolism*
  • Renal Reabsorption / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Vasopressins / metabolism*
  • Water-Electrolyte Balance / physiology*


  • Aquaporin 2
  • Vasopressins