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J.G. Crowston, P.R. Healey, C. Hopley, A.J. Maloof; Water-Mediated Lysis of Lens Epithelial Cells: Sealed Irrigation of the Capsular Bag to Prevent Posterior Capsule Opacification . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(13):278.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Purpose: Sealed-irrigation of the capsular bag during cataract surgery permits the use of potentially toxic agents to eliminate lens epithelial cells (LEC). Previous studies have suggested that the lens capsule protects LECs from the cytotoxic effects of a number of chemotherapeutic agents. This study was designed to investigate the effect of deionised distilled water on lens epithelial cells. Methods: Anterior capsulotomy specimens taken during routine cataract surgery were divided into two halves. One half was immersed in deionised distilled water or culture medium (control) for between 1 and 5 minutes. The specimens were then washed immediately in fresh culture medium and photographed under phase-contrast microscopy. To determine whether there were any viable LECs in the capsules treated for only 1 or 2 minutes, these specimens were pinned to the base of 6-well plates and placed in culture for 2 weeks. Results: Deionized distilled water induced morphological changes in LEC within 1 minute with marked swelling of the cytoplasm. By 3 minutes LECs had lysed with disruption of the plasma membranes. No intact cells could be seen. In addition, no viable LECS were seen on the water-treated capsules after 2 weeks in culture. In the control capsules, LECs adopted fibroblast-like morphology and proliferated to form confluent monolayer over the capsule with circumferential LEC out-growth off the capsule onto the surrounding plate. Conclusion: Short exposure of LECs to deionised distilled water induces extensive cell lysis. The lens capsule does not protect LECs from the effects of water. Water provides a very cheap candidate agent for eliminating LEC during cataract surgery.
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