American journal of physiology. Cell physiology

Aquaporins-2 and -4 regulate glycogen metabolism and survival during hyposmotic-anoxic stress in Caenorhabditis elegans.

PMID 26017147


Periods of oxygen deprivation can lead to ion and water imbalances in affected tissues that manifest as swelling (edema). Although oxygen deprivation-induced edema is a major contributor to injury in clinical ischemic diseases such as heart attack and stroke, the pathophysiology of this process is incompletely understood. In the present study we investigate the impact of aquaporin-mediated water transport on survival in a Caenorhabditis elegans model of edema formation during complete oxygen deprivation (anoxia). We find that nematodes lacking aquaporin water channels in tissues that interface with the surrounding environment display decreased edema formation and improved survival rates in anoxia. We also find that these animals have significantly reduced demand for glycogen as an energetic substrate during anoxia. Together, our data suggest that reductions in membrane water permeability may be sufficient to induce a hypometabolic state during oxygen deprivation that reduces injury and extends survival limits.