September 1992
Volume 33, Issue 10
Articles  |   September 1992
Alterations in ascorbic acid transport into the lens of streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats and guinea pigs.
Author Affiliations
  • J DiMattio
    Department of Physiology and Biophysics, New York University School of Medicine, New York.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science September 1992, Vol.33, 2926-2935. doi:
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      J DiMattio; Alterations in ascorbic acid transport into the lens of streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats and guinea pigs.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1992;33(10):2926-2935.

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High ascorbic acid (AA) levels in the aqueous humor and intraocular tissues, including the lens, are thought to protect against the harmful effects of photochemical and ambient oxidation reactions involving oxygen and its radicals. In addition, AA may have various metabolic functions, including structural collagen formation in intraocular tissues. Recent work showed that, in the guinea pig, reduced AA was concentrated in the aqueous and lens epithelium. These in vivo studies were extended to streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats and guinea pigs to explore the state of AA transport and passive L-glucose movement in the diabetic lens. A bolus dose of radiolabeled test molecules, including 14C-AA, 3H-L-glucose (L-glu), and 14C-3-O-methyl-D-glucose, was injected into the blood at time zero, and the time-dependent concentrations of these labeled molecules were determined as they move into the aqueous humor, lens epithelium and capsule, and interior compartments. These kinetic studies provided a unique measurement of the functioning state of passive and carrier transport mechanisms in situ in normal and diabetic animals. Diabetic animals (blood glucose, greater than 300 mg/dl) were categorized in terms of the length of time of uniform monitored drug-induced diabetes as short term (10-20 days); midterm (40-60 days), and long term (100+ days). In the rat lens epithelium, significant decrease occurred in the active movement of AA (control KEi, 0.693 +/- 0.062 [n = 12]; midterm drug-induced diabetes Ki, 0.192 +/- 0.054 [n = 10]; t-test P less than 0.001). The passive L-glu entry rate increased (control KEi, 0.0268 +/- 0.0053 [n = 12]; midterm drug-induced diabetes KEi, 0.0421 +/- 0.075 [n = 10]; t-test P less than 0.005). Thus, it was suggested that the drug-induced diabetic rat lens epithelium had lost some of its ability to concentrate AA to high levels and achieved epithelial levels only one- to twofold those of aqueous; control animals concentrated AA to levels of five- to eightfold those of aqueous within 20 min. By contrast, the rate of movement of L-glu from epithelium to stroma increased minimally (control KSi, 0.0116 +/- 0.021 [n = 12]; midterm drug-induced diabetes KSi, 0.0136 +/- 0.034 [n = 10]; t-test P less than 0.05). In addition, AA entry rate into lens cortex increased fourfold (control KSi, = 0.0018 +/- 0.0003 [n = 12]; midterm drug-induced diabetes KSi, 0.0081 +/- 0.024 [n = 10]; t-test P less than 0.001).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)


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