Aquaporin 4 in Astrocytes is a Target for Therapy in Alzheimer's Disease

Yu-Long Lan, Jian-Jiao Chen, Gang Hu, Jun Xu, Ming Xiao, Shao Li
Current Pharmaceutical Design 2017, 23 (33): 4948-4957
Current experimental evidence points to the conclusion that aquaporin 4 (AQP4), which is an important water-channel membrane protein found in the brain, could play major roles in various brain conditions pathologically including pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). In this paper, we review how AQP4 and altered astrocyte functions interact in AD, and provide experimental evidence highlighting the importance of this topic for the future investigations. The interactions of AQP4 are as follows: (i) AQP4 could influence astrocytic calcium signaling and potassium homeostasis. (ii) AQP4 is linked with the removal of interstitial β-amyloid and glutamate transmission. (iii) Furthermore, AQP4 modulates the reactive astrogliosis and neuroinflammation mechanisms. (iv) To add to this, AQP4 could participate in the AD pathogenesis through affecting neurotrophic factor production. It is therefore possible to identify certain functional molecules that regulate astrocyte make-up and functions. However, making crucial efforts to develop specific agents or drugs that target AQP4 function and test their therapeutic efficiency will be a breakthrough for addressing AD in that AQP4 controls the various physiological as well as pathophysiological features of astrocytes.


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