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Angela M. Hales, Coral G. Chamberlain, Bogdan Dreher, John W. McAvoy; Intravitreal Injection of TGFβ Induces Cataract in Rats. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1999;40(13):3231-3236.
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purpose. In a previous study, it was determined that TGFβ induces cataractous
changes in the rat lens in vitro. The purpose of the present study was
to determine whether the introduction of biologically active TGFβ
into the vitreous stimulates cataractous changes in the rat lens in
methods. TGFβ was injected into the vitreous of the left eye of anesthetized
adult male Wistar rats. The right eye received sterile vehicle as a
control. Three to four months after injection, animals were killed, and
lenses were enucleated and examined for cataractous changes.
results. All lenses from control eyes remained transparent and maintained normal
cellular architecture throughout. In contrast, lenses from
TGFβ-injected eyes displayed cloudiness in the cortex. In some
lenses, distinct opacities were also apparent at the equator and
extending some distance toward the anterior and posterior poles.
Histologically, the opacities corresponded to subcapsular plaques
containing aberrant cells and accumulations of extracellular matrix. In
addition, cortical fibers in the anterior and posterior of all lenses
displayed variable degrees of swelling, and many retained their nuclei.
In some regions, the fiber cells appeared to have degenerated to form
large homogeneous areas. The cellular architecture of the equator of
these lenses was also disrupted and, in the most severe case, no bow
zone was apparent with nucleated cells extending to the posterior pole.
conclusion. The introduction of active TGFβ into the vitreous induced lenses to
undergo cataractous changes. In addition to the TGFβ-induced changes
in the epithelium that were reported previously, cataractous changes
observed in this study also involved the lens fiber cells and resembled
changes observed in human posterior subcapsular and cortical
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