Expression patterns of aquaporins 1, 3, 5 in canine mammary gland carcinomas

J Vet Med Sci. 2024 Feb 8;86(2):168-179. doi: 10.1292/jvms.23-0278. Epub 2023 Dec 20.


Aquaporins (AQPs) are water channel proteins, and the expression of AQPs in carcinoma cells has received much attention over the last 15 years. In the veterinary field, however, little is known about the expression of AQPs. In the present study using immunohistochemistry, we examined the expression of AQP1, AQP3, and AQP5 in canine mammary gland carcinomas. The 27 samples comprised 10 grade I, 12 grade II, and 5 grade III samples (See Materials and Methods section for grade classification method). AQP1 was expressed in only 2 of the grade III carcinomas, and the expression was limited to spindle-shaped cells in the solid structure and on the outside of the solid mass. AQP3-positive cells were observed in 20 of 22 grade I and II samples. On the other hand, among grade III carcinomas, AQP3 was expressed only in spindle-shaped cells in 1 sample. AQP5 was expressed in all grade I and II carcinomas but not in the grade III tumors. In addition, enhanced expression of basolateral AQP3 and apical AQP5 was observed in lobular hyperplastic cells. These results suggest that the expression patterns of AQP3 and AQP5 can be of help for judging the grading of canine mammary tumors and that AQP1 is likely to be involved in metastasis. Moreover, AQP3 and AQP5 might be relevant to lactation in female dogs.

Keywords: aquaporin-1; aquaporin-3; aquaporin-5; canine mammary tumor; immunohistochemistry.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinoma* / veterinary
  • Dog Diseases*
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lactation