Aquaporin: Induction and role in embryonic ciliary body
A potential target of drug intervention for the treatment of glaucoma may be the aquaporin water channels found in the ciliary body of the eye. The ciliary body is the source of aqueous fluid. Aquaporins are membrane-channel proteins that are highly permeable to water, and aquaporin-1 and -4 are the major eye aquaporins expressed in the ciliary body. There is very little information on how these channels regulate their permeability to water. In previous research, Dr. Hyer demonstrated that Aquaporin-1 protein is expressed in the embryonic chick eye, which is an excellent model for eye development. She is now examining factors that lead to functional aquaporin water channels in the early development of the eye, and hopes to develop methods for reducing functional aquaporin channels in vivo. Once the requirements for aquaporin function in the eye have been determined, the chick embryo will then become a promising in-vivo model for testing the chemical and genetic interference with aquaporins.