Most adult anurans absorb water through their ventral skin to maintain the proper water balance. We examined spatial and temporal expression of frog (Hyla japonica) aquaporins, Hyla AQP-h2 and AQP-h3 proteins, in the ventral pelvic skin by using specific antibodies. Immunofluorescence indicates that AQP-h2 and AQP-h3 first appear in the granular cells of the pelvic skin of the tadpoles at Gosner stage 42, and such labeling is seen in later stages as well. These findings were confirmed by Western blot anahs's. In addition, Northern blot analysis demonstrated that V-2-type vasotocin (AVT)-receptor mRNA is first expressed at the same stage as are the AQP proteins, which suggests a functional relationship between expression of AQP proteins and AVT receptor. Also, AQP expression in the ventral pelvic skin is consistent with the morphological changes that occur in. the skin for adaptation from life in water to that on land.
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