Lumbar intervertebral disc degeneration is induced by multiple factors, but few studies have examined the effects of aquaporins on this process. We compared the expression levels of aquaporins 1 and 3 in normal and degenerative lumbar intervertebral discs. Fifteen normal and 15 degenerative lumbar intervertebral disc tissues were excised from lumbar burst fracture patients during orthopedic operations at the Dali College subsidiary hospital. Tissues were stained with hematoxylin-eosin and the expression levels of aquaporins 1 and 3 were measured by immunohistochemistry. Hematoxylin-eosin-staining results illustrated that the structures of the intervertebral disc tissues from the control group were clear, with distinct collagen fiber shapes and slight edema but without mucoid degeneration. Structures of the intervertebral disc tissues from the disease group were obscure and disordered with hyperplastic collagen fibers and tissues of severe inflammatory edemas with necrosis mucoid degeneration.