PloS one

Expression of aquaporin 4 and breakdown of the blood-brain barrier after hypoglycemia-induced brain edema in rats.

PMID 25264602


Hypoglycemia-induced brain edema is a severe clinical event that often results in death. The mechanisms by which hypoglycemia induces brain edema are unclear. In a hypoglycemic injury model established in adult rats, brain edema was verified by measuring brain water content and visualizing water accumulation using hematoxylin and eosin staining. Temporal expression of aquaporin 4 (AQP4) and the integrity of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) were evaluated. We assessed the distribution and expression of AQP4 following glucose deprivation in astrocyte cultures. Brain edema was induced immediately after severe hypoglycemia but continued to progress even after recovery from hypoglycemia. Upregulation of AQP4 expression and moderate breakdown of the BBB were observed 24 h after recovery. In vitro, significant redistribution of AQP4 to the plasma membrane was induced following 6 h glucose deprivation. Hypoglycemia-induced brain edema is caused by cytotoxic and vasogenic factors. Changes in AQP4 location and expression may play a protective role in edema resolution.