Aquaporins and Brain Tumors
Glioblastoma multiformes (GBMs) express increased aquaporin (AQP) 1 compared to normal brain. AQPs may contribute to edema, cell motility, and shuttling of H(2)O and H(+) from intracellular to extracellular space. We sought to gain insight into AQP1 function in GBM. In cultured 9L gliosarcoma cells, AQP1 expression was induced by dexamethasone, platelet-derived growth factor, NaCl, hypoxia, D-glucose (but not L-glucose), and fructose. Induction of AQP1 expression correlated with the level of glycolysis, maximized by increasing medium D-glucose or fructose and decreasing O(2), and was quantified by measuring lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity and medium lactate concentration. Upregulation of the protease cathepsin B was also observed in 9L cells cultured under glycolytic conditions. Immunohistochemical staining of human GBM specimens revealed increased coincident expression of AQP1, LDH, and cathepsin B in glioma cells associated with blood vessels at the tumor periphery. GBMs are known to exhibit aerobic glycolysis. Increased glucose metabolism at the tumor periphery may provide a scenario by which upregulation of AQP1, LDH, and cathepsin B contributes to acidification of the extracellular milieu and to invasive potential of glioma cells in perivascular space. The specific upregulation and metabolic consequences of increased AQP1 in gliomas may provide a therapeutic target, both as a cell surface marker and as a functional intervention.