Here we assess the potential functional role of increased aquaporin 9 (APQ9) in astrocytes. Increased AQP9 expression was achieved in primary astrocyte cultures by transfection of a plasmid-containing green fluorescent protein fused to either wild-type or mutated human AQP9. Increased AQP9 expression and phosphorylation at Ser222 were associated with a significant change in astrocyte morphology, mainly with a higher number of processes. Similar phenotypic changes are observed in astrogliosis processes after injury. In parallel, we observed that in vivo, thrombin preconditioning before ischemic stroke induced an early increase in AQP9 expression in the male mouse brain. This increased AQP9 expression was also associated with astrocyte morphological changes, especially in the white matter tract. Astrocyte reactivity is debated as being either beneficial or deleterious. As thrombin preconditioning leads to a decrease in lesion size after stroke, our data suggest that the early increase in AQP9 concomitant with astrocyte reactivity leads to a beneficial effect. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Keywords: AQP9; astrogliosis; brain injury; mouse; preconditioning; thrombin; transient brain ischemia; water channel.
© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.