June 1962
Volume 1, Issue 3
Articles  |   June 1962
Lens Antibodies and Eye Development
Author Affiliations
    Department of Anatomy, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec.
    Department of Anatomy, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 1962, Vol.1, 396-405. doi:
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      JAN LANGMAN, HARRY MAISEL; Lens Antibodies and Eye Development. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1962;1(3):396-405.

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

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When 32 hour chick embryos were treated with different lens antibodies, cellular degeneration and gross abnormalities, such as anencephalus, rachischisis, and anophthalmia, were observed only in embryos treated with antisera prepared against total lens and alpha crystallin, but not in those treated with beta or gamma crystallin antiserum. Since the remits of treatment with total lens and alpha crystallin antibodies were identical in nature, it is concluded that the antibody effect is due exclusively to the interaction of alpha crystallin antibodies and their corresponding cellular anitgens. The cellular degeneration and gross abnormalities were restricted to the brain and eye, that is, those organs in which the presence of lens antigens was previously demonstrated by means of immunologic and fluorescent antibody techniques. None of the other tissues and organs in the abnormal embryos showed any effect of antibody treatment, thus indicating a high specificity of the alpha crystallin antigen-antibody reaction. Abnorvialities found in the 24 hour series were identical to those obtained in the 32 hour series, indicating that in both cases the alpha crystallin antibodies had interfered with the same developmental processes. Treatment of 42 hour embryos was ineffective, suggesting that at this stage of development the antigen-antibody interaction either has become impossible or is no longer able to interfere toith morphologic development. Since in many of the grossly abnormal embryos no indication of cellular degeneration was found, it seems likely that an antigen-antibody interaction does not necessarily lead to cellular degeneration and necrosis, but may also interfere with cell life in a less damaging manner, such as inhibition of growth and rechanneling of normal differentiation capacities. When rabbits were immunized with chick lens extracts before and during pregnancy, lens antibodies were demonstrated in the maternal circulation throughout pregnancy, in the yolk-sac fluid at the tenth day of development, and in the fetal circidation at the twenty-eighth day of development, by means of immunologic methods. None of the treated rabbit fetuses, however, showed any abnormalities.


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