Phosphorylcholine and phosphorylethanolamine in human and rhesus monkey lenses

Howard M. Jernigan, J. Samuel Zigler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Phosphorylcholine (P-choline) and phosphorylethanolamine (P-ethanolamine) are important precursors of phospholipids. The metabolism and concentration of P-choline has been shown to change in animal models of cataract, especially in oxidatively or osmotically stressed rat lenses. The concentrations of P-choline and P-ethanolamine were determined in monkey lenses and in normal and cataractous human lenses, and the rate of synthesis of P-choline was determined in human and monkey lenses. The concentration of P-choline in 53 clear human lenses was 0·94 mm (±0·31 s.d.), and was relatively unaffected by age, eye bank storage, or freezing. There was a 70% decrease in P-choline in brown cataracts but no significant change from normal in nonbrown cataracts. The concentration of P-ethanolamine in human lenses was 0·45 mm (±0·26 s.d.), and it appeared to decrease during frozen storage of lenses and in cataracts. The concentrations of P-choline and P-ethanolamine in 12 rhesus monkey lenses were 1·51 mm (±0·27 s.d) and 0·75 mm (±0·14 s.d.), respectively. The rate of synthesis of P-choline in monkey lenses incubated with [3H] choline was 8 nmol hr-1 g-1 wet weight in 1 mm choline. Adult human lenses incubated in 1 mm choline synthesized P-choline at a rate of 23 nmol hr-1 g-1 (±6 s.d.). This limited capacity for P-choline synthesis in primate lenses may contribute to the lower P-choline concentration relative to rat lenses, which contain 11 mm P-choline and can synthesize P-choline at an apparent maximum rate of 130 nmol hr-1 g-1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)901-909
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental eye research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1989


  • Macaca mulatta
  • assay
  • cataract
  • human
  • monkey lens
  • phosphorylcholine
  • phosphorylethanolamine
  • synthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Phosphorylcholine and phosphorylethanolamine in human and rhesus monkey lenses'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this