Water transport during peritoneal dialysis (PD) requires ultrasmall pores in the capillary endothelium of the peritoneum and is impaired in the case of peritoneal inflammation. The water channel aquaporin (AQP)-1 has been proposed to be the ultrasmall pore in animal models. To substantiate the role of AQP-1 in the human peritoneum, we investigated the expression of AQP-1, AQP-2, and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) in 19 peritoneal samples from normal subjects (n = 5), uremic patients treated by hemodialysis (n = 7) or PD (n = 4), and nonuremic patients (n = 3), using Western blotting and immunostaining. AQP-1 is very specifically located in capillary and venule endothelium but not in small-size arteries. In contrast, eNOS is located in all types of endothelia. Immunoblot for AQP-1 in human peritoneum reveals a 28-kDa band (unglycosylated AQP-1) and diffuse bands of 35-50 kDa (glycosylated AQP-1). Although AQP-1 expression is remarkably stable in all samples whatever their origin, eNOS (135 kDa) is upregulated in the three patients with ascites and/or peritonitis (1 PD and 2 nonuremic patients). AQP-2, regulated by vasopressin, is not expressed at the protein level in human peritoneum. This study 1) supports AQP-1 as the molecular counterpart of the ultrasmall pore in the human peritoneum and 2) demonstrates that AQP-1 and eNOS are regulated independently of each other in clinical conditions characterized by peritoneal inflammation.