As every medical student is taught, water constitutes about two thirds
of the body, and the physiological activities that rely on water are numerous
and diverse. With water playing such a crucial role in human life, getting
it to where it is needed is equally important. While simple diffusion of water
molecules across cell membranes occurs in some cases, regulated trafficking
in and out of cells is often required.
That is where aquaporins come in. Although scientists suspected that
such water channels existed, it was not until the early 1990s that aquaporins
were discovered in the laboratory of Peter Agre, MD, of Johns Hopkins University
School of Medicine, in Baltimore, Md.
Hampton T. Navigating the Body’s Water Channels, Scientists Gain Insights Into Disease. JAMA. 2004;292(13):1537-1538. doi:10.1001/jama.292.13.1537