Author(s): Andjeli S, Zupani G, Perovek D, Hawlina M
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Abstract PURPOSE: Human anterior lens epithelial cells, attached to surgically isolated capsules, were found to contract upon stimulation. The purpose of this study was to characterize these contractions, which create gaps between cells, and to assess the underlying physiological mechanisms and their possible association with cataract formation. METHODS: Lens capsules obtained during cataract surgery were stained with fluorescent dye Fura-2. Its fluorescence, upon excitation at 360 and 380 nm, was imaged to monitor changes in cell morphology and cytosolic free Ca(2+) concentrations ([Ca(2+) ](i) ) in response to pharmacological stimulation by acetylcholine (ACh) and to mechanical stimulation by flow of saline or direct contact. RESULTS: Epithelial cells contracted in approximately a third of preparations when stimulated by either ACh application, fluid movement or direct mechanical contact. Contractions started either before or at best simultaneously with the rise in [Ca(2+) ](i). Contractions also occurred when there was hardly any change in [Ca(2+) ](i) upon application of physiological saline alone. The probability of contractions occurring did not differ significantly among cortical, nuclear and combined cortical + nuclear cataract. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides the evidence that contractions of the anterior lens epithelial cells take place in significant portion of human lens anterior capsule postoperative preparations after non-specific stimulation. Contractions are at least partially independent of changes in [Ca(2+) ](i). They can be mechanically induced, are localized and reversible and have a fast response and did not differ among different types of cataract. Physiological and clinical significance of this phenomenon remains to be elucidated. © 2011 The Authors. Acta Ophthalmologica © 2011 Acta Ophthalmologica Scandinavica Foundation.
This article was published in Acta Ophthalmol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology