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D R Whikehart, H F Edelhauser; Glutathione in rabbit corneal endothelia: the effects of selected perfusion fluids.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1978;17(5):455-464.
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Although the ameliorating effect of glutathione on corneal deturgescence is known, its chemical mechanism is not understood. An endeavor toward the latter was made by perfusing freshly excised rabbit corneas with selected perfusion fluids, measuring corneal thickness, and assaying the endothelial cells for reduced and oxidized glutathione after 2 and 5 hr of perfusion. Ringer's solution, containing either lactate or bicarbonate, caused significant decreases in both forms of glutathione after perfusion. The corneas increased in thickness considerably during these periods. When 5 mM glucose was added to bicarbonate-Ringer's solution, the corneas swelled about half as much as before. However, glutathione levels were as depressed as with simple Ringer's fluid. Adenosine (0.5 mM) in the presence of glucose (bicarbonate-Ringer's) caused a further swelling decrease so that the corneas were maintained at near normal thickness. The levels of glutathione were 84% of control values compared to 35% to 45% for Ringer's solutions (+/- glucose). The addition of glutathione to glucose (bicarbonate-Ringer's) caused intracellular glutathione levels to be higher than control values while allowing minimal tissue swelling. Glutathione in combination with adenosine, glucose, and bicarbonate produced the highest intracellular glutathione levels and a slight corneal deswelling. After oxidation of intracellular glutathione with t-butyl hydroperoxide in glucose (bicarbonate-Ringer's), endothelial cells were destroyed within 1 hr. The oxidant, however, may have had a direct effect upon the endothelial cell membranes.
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