Presenting Author Lincoln Park High School Chicago, Illinois, United States
Koyuki Yamada (Lincoln Park High School)| Ishani Pidara (Lincoln Park High School)
Aquaporin-4 (AQP4) is the most common water channel protein in the central nervous system (Flippidis, Carozza, & Rekate, 2016). It is highly concentrated in the cell membrane of the astrocytic endfeet, which form the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and help protect the brain from toxins (Mader & Brimberg, 2019; Woodruff & Götz, 2018). AQP4 maintains homeostasis in the brain by regulating the water flow through a central channel located in each subunit of the protein’s tetrameric structure (Iacovetta, Rudloff, & Kirby, 2012; Goodsell, 2014). Although it is still unclear whether or not AQP4 plays a role in influencing the development of diseases, there are animal research models that suggest that it relates to the progression of illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and multiple sclerosis disease (Lan, Fang, Zhao, Ma, & Li, 2016; Hubbard, Szu, & Binder, 2017). It can also relate to multiple pathological conditions, such as brain injuries, tumors, and strokes, in which the post mortem human brain tissue is often used for further studying the disorders (Mader & Brimberg, 2019).