Investigations into the loss of glutathione from lenses in organ culture

Chuan Qin, Santa J. Tumminia, Paul Russell, P. Vasantha Rao, J. Samuel Zigler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Purpose. To investigate possible causes and implications of the decrease in glutathione concentration in rat lenses during organ culture. Methods. Freshly excised lenses were incubated in modified TC-199 medium. Ellman's Reagent or the GSH-400 assay were used to assay glutathione levels in lenses cultured for different times and under a variety of altered culture conditions. Results. In lenses from young rats the glutathione decrease was not ameliorated by reduction of oxygen tension in the incubator, nor by supplementation of the culture medium with various antioxidants or sulfhydryl compounds, nor with the amino acid precursors of glutathione. Addition of 2-mercaptoethanol stimulated cysteine transport into the lens but had only a modest effect in maintaining the level of glutathione. The decrease in glutathione concentration was less in cultured lenses from older rats. Lenses from rhesus monkeys exhibited no decrease in glutathione levels when maintained in organ culture for up to 48 h. Conclusions. The basis for the decreased glutathione in cultured young rat lenses is still uncertain. The data from the present study indicate a definite relationship between glutathione loss and age for cultured rat lenses, with young lenses being much more susceptible. The resistance of cultured monkey lenses to loss of glutathione demonstrates species differences in this property which may be relevant to previously reported differences in susceptibility to oxidative damage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)719-725
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Eye Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996


  • 2-mercaptoethanol
  • Glutathione
  • Lens
  • Organ culture
  • Rats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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