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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 731569, 9 pages
Review Article

Aquaporin Expression in Normal and Pathological Skeletal Muscles: A Brief Review with Focus on AQP4

Department of Neurology, Showa University Fujigaoka Hospital, 1-30 Fujigaoka, Aoba-ku, Yokohama, 227-8501, Japan

Received 18 September 2009; Revised 12 January 2010; Accepted 17 January 2010

Academic Editor: Aikaterini Kontrogianni-Konstantopoulos

Copyright © 2010 Yoshihiro Wakayama. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Freeze-fracture electron microscopy enabled us to observe the molecular architecture of the biological membranes. We were studying the myofiber plasma membranes of health and disease by using this technique and were interested in the special assembly called orthogonal arrays (OAs). OAs were present in normal myofiber plasma membranes and were especially numerous in fast twitch type 2 myofibers; while OAs were lost from sarcolemmal plasma membranes of severely affected muscles with dystrophinopathy and dysferlinopathy but not with caveolinopathy. In the mid nineties of the last century, the OAs turned out to be a water channel named aquaporin 4 (AQP4). Since this discovery, several groups of investigators have been studying AQP4 expression in diseased muscles. This review summarizes the papers which describe the expression of OAs, AQP4, and other AQPs at the sarcolemma of healthy and diseased muscle and discusses the possible role of AQPs, especially that of AQP4, in normal and pathological skeletal muscles.