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Effects of estrogen deprivation on expression of aquaporins in rat vagina

Zhu, Jiyin MS1; Xia, Jiyi MS1; Jiang, Jun MD, PhD2; Jiang, Rui MD, PhD3; He, Yanzheng MD, PhD2; Lin, Haocheng MD, PhD4

doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000000403
Original Articles
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Objective This study aims to investigate the expression of aquaporin (AQP) 0, AQP3, AQP5, AQP6, AQP10, AQP11, and AQP12 in the vaginal tissue of ovariectomized rats.

Methods Eight-week-old female Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 18) were randomly divided into three groups: control group (n = 6), ovariectomy group (n = 6), and ovariectomy/estrogen therapy group (n = 6). After 4 weeks, vaginal lubrication level and expression of AQP0, AQP3, AQP5, AQP6, AQP10, AQP11, and AQP12 in vaginal tissue were examined.

Results Serum estrogen level was significantly lower in the ovariectomy group than in the control and ovariectomy/estrogen therapy groups (P < 0.05). Vaginal lubrication was significantly lower in the ovariectomy group (mean [SD], 1.62 [0.30]) than in the control group (mean [SD], 2.37 [0.70]) and ovariectomy/estrogen therapy group (mean [SD], 2.38 [0.73]; P < 0.05). Protein expression of AQP0, AQP3, AQP5, AQP6, AQP10, AQP11, and AQP12 was significantly lower in the ovariectomy group than in the control and ovariectomy/estrogen therapy groups (P < 0.05).

Conclusions Decreased vaginal lubrication in ovariectomized rats after electrostimulation may be partly caused by decreased AQPs in vaginal tissue.

From the 1Medical Research Center, Affiliated Hospital, Luzhou Medical College, Luzhou, China; 2Department of Vascular Surgery, Affiliated Hospital, Luzhou Medical College, Luzhou, China; 3Department of Urology, Affiliated Hospital, Luzhou Medical College, Luzhou, China; and 4Department of Surgery, The University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Houston, TX.

Received August 28, 2014; revised and accepted October 28, 2014.

J.Z. and J.X. contributed equally to this study.

R.J. and Y.H., co–corresponding authors, led the theory and design work.

Funding/support: This study was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant 81070486/H0415) and the Outstanding Youth Foundation of Sichuan Province (grant 2010JQ0040).

Financial disclosure/conflicts of interest: None reported.

Address correspondence to: Rui Jiang, MD, PhD, Department of Urology, Affiliated Hospital, Luzhou Medical College, Taiping Road, Luzhou, Sichuan 646000, China. E-mail: jiangrui@126.com; Yanzheng He, MD, PhD, Department of Vascular Surgery, Affiliated Hospital, Luzhou Medical College, Taiping Road, Luzhou, Sichuan 646000, China. E-mail: Yanzheng_He@126.com

© 2015 by The North American Menopause Society.