Transient cataract formation in cultured lenses following removing from medium containing high levels of glycerol

C. Qin, J. S. Zigler, T. Borras

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose. To investigate factors involved in the formation of transient cataracts in lenses cultured first in medium containing glycerol (∼0.5%) and then transferred to normal culture medium (modified TC-199). Methods. Freshly excised lenses from Sprague-Dawley rats (∼4 wks old) were placed immediately into organ culture in TC-199 medium containing ∼0.5% glycerol. After 20 hours the lenses were transferred to modified TC-199 medium without glycerol. All media were adjusted to 298±2 milliosmolar. At various time the lenses were photographed and fixed for histological analysis. Rhesus monkey lenses (-2 yrs old) were incubated in similar manner. Results. Rat lenses became completely opaque within 2 hours after they were transferred from glycerol containing medium to normal TC-199 medium. During this period of time, a large number of vacuoles were observed in the lens periphery especially in the bow region. Lenses started to recover after five hours and appeared completely transparent 18-20 hours after transfer. Monkey lenses, unlike rat lenses, developed sutural opacities during the initial culture in glycerol. Recovery from the complete opacity formed after transfer to normal medium was slower than in rat lenses. Conclusions. Association of heavy vacuolization in the cortex with opacification in these lenses suggests an osmotic mechanism of formation. Possible factors involved in this phenomenon will be discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S892
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 15 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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