Water Channels


The passive or active transport of water through a plasma membrane is a concomitant of several cellular processes. Even if the functional involvement of water channels, called aquaporin, is known for two decades, the trans-membrane water movements during cellular processes remain largely unknown. One of the reasons why this area is still under-explored is due to the lack of reliable measurement techniques to directly quantify the trans-membrane water fluxes, at cellular scale, during a physiological (and pathological) situation.

Material and methods

  • Biological Model: CHO cells stably expressing the human form of CFTR protein (CHOcftr); Red Blood Cells
  • DHM® solution: Non-invasive monitoring of water fluxes
Water Channels CFTR


DHM® is the only imaging technique able to monitor in situ net fluxes of water during a cell process (osmotic shock, functional coupling between the epithelial chloride channel CFTR and the aquaporin AQP3). These results open the field for new types of pharmacological investigations (notably the screening of drugs acting on water transporter molecules) and therapeutic approaches.

Figure 5 (adapted from Jourdain et al., JCS, 2014)


Boss et al., JBO, 2013; Jourdain et al., JCS, 2014