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BACKGROUND - All thirteen known mammalian aquaporins have been detected in the eye. Moreover, aquaporins have been identified as playing essential roles in ocular functions ranging from maintenance of lens and corneal transparency to production of aqueous humor to maintenance of cellular homeostasis and regulation of signal transduction in the retina.
SCOPE OF REVIEW - This review summarizes the expression and known functions of ocular aquaporins and discusses their known and potential roles in ocular diseases.
MAJOR CONCLUSIONS - Aquaporins play essential roles in all ocular tissues. Remarkably, not all aquaporin function as a water permeable channel and the functions of many aquaporins in ocular tissues remain unknown. Given their vital roles in maintaining ocular function and their roles in disease, aquaporins represent potential targets for future therapeutic development.
GENERAL SIGNIFICANCE - Since aquaporins play key roles in ocular physiology, an understanding of these functions is important to improving ocular health and treating diseases of the eye. It is likely that future therapies for ocular diseases will rely on modulation of aquaporin expression and/or function. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Aquaporins.
© 2013. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.