August 1965
Volume 4, Issue 4
Articles  |   August 1965
Pathways of Glucose Metabolism in the Lens
Author Affiliations
    Howe Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston, Mass.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science August 1965, Vol.4, 619-628. doi:
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      JIN H. KINOSHITA; Pathways of Glucose Metabolism in the Lens. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1965;4(4):619-628.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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In the lens the biological energy necessary for the maintenance of transparency, synthesis, and repair is supplied primarily by the reactions that metabolize glucose to lactic acid. The low levels of the enzymes associated with the aerobic oxidation of glucose restrict the lens metabolism mainly to anaerobic glycolysis. Even in the epithelium, anaerobic glycolysis appears Jo be the principal source of biological energy. The evidence for this is that the active transport mechanisms of the lens occur primarily in the epithelium and these energy-utilizing processes can be almost entirely supported by anaerobic glycolysis. Another unusual feature of lens glucose metabolism is the ability of the lens to synthesize sorbitol. It is the unusual set of circumstances of low hexokinase, relatively high aldose reductase, and high pentose shunt activities which render the lens a favorable site for sorbitol production.


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