Our understanding of the movement of water through cell membranes has been greatly advanced by the discovery of a family of water-specific, membrane-channel proteins: the Aquaporins (AQPs). These proteins are present in organisms at all levels of life, and their unique permeability characteristics and distribution in numerous tissues indicate diverse roles in the regulation of water homeostasis. Phenotype analysis of AQP knock-out mice has confirmed the predicted role of AQPs in osmotically driven transepithelial fluid transport, as occurs in the urinary concentrating mechanism and glandular fluid secretion. Regarding their expression in nervous system, there are evidences suggesting that AQPs are differentially expressed in the peripheral versus central nervous system and that channel-mediated water transport mechanisms may be involved in cerebrospinal fluid formation, neuronal signal transduction and information processing. Moreover, a number of recent studies have revealed the importance of mammalian AQPs in both physiological and pathophysiological mechanisms and have suggested that pharmacological modulation of AQP expression and activity may provide new tools for the treatment of variety of human disorders in which water and small solute transport may be involved. For all the AQPs, new contributions to physiological functions are likely to be discovered with ongoing work in this rapidly expanding field of research.