The purpose of this research was to test the role of certain minerals in the formation of cataract caused by an overdose of selenium. Several pieces of information indicated that lenticular calcium may play an important role in selenite cataractogenesis: 1) Lens calcium concentrations in selenite treated rats were increased more than 5-fold, and the increase in lens calcium was localized in the nucleus. 2) Lens calcium concentrations were elevated at least one full day before actual formation of nuclear cataract, but serum calcium levels were not changed. 3) In older rats not susceptible to selenite cataract, lens calcium was not significantly increased. 4) No evidence was found for a generalized disruption in lens permeability, since no major changes in lens water, sodium, and potassium levels were observed, and 5) when levels of calcium observed in selenite cataract were added to solutions of soluble proteins from rat lenses, light scattering was increased. Selenium-overdose cataracts may provide an important model for studies on the role of calcium in cataractogenesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience