27 September 2019
Aquaporin-2 (AQP2), a vasopressin-regulated water channel, plays an important role in renal water homeostasis. It has been reported that the level of AQP2 in human urine is altered during pregnancy. However, little is known about the level of urinary AQP2 in pregnant cattle. In this study, we examined the level of AQP2-bearing extracellular vesicles (uEV-AQP2), which account for most urinary AQP2, in both heifers and cows during the gestational and postpartum periods. The level of uEV-AQP2 was significantly decreased during gestation in comparison with the other cattle examined. Similarly, the levels of EV marker proteins in uEVs, including tumor susceptibility gene 101 (TSG101) protein and apoptosis-linked gene 2-interacting protein X (ALIX), were significantly decreased during gestation. There were significant correlations between the levels of uEV-AQP2 and uEV-TSG101, or uEV-ALIX. Immunohistochemistry data from pregnant and non-pregnant cattle supported the notion that the level of uEV-AQP2 was decreased during gestation. These data indicate that the level of uEV-AQP2 is decreased in pregnant cattle, possibly through a decrease in both the number of EVs released into the urine and renal AQP2 expression.