August 1989
Volume 30, Issue 8
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Articles  |   August 1989
Human lens membrane cation permeability increases with age.
Author Affiliations
  • G Duncan
    School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom.
  • K R Hightower
    School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom.
  • S A Gandolfi
    School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom.
  • J Tomlinson
    School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom.
  • G Maraini
    School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science August 1989, Vol.30, 1855-1859. doi:
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      G Duncan, K R Hightower, S A Gandolfi, J Tomlinson, G Maraini; Human lens membrane cation permeability increases with age.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1989;30(8):1855-1859.

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

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Abstract

Parallel studies of the ionic balance and membrane permeability characteristics of normal human lenses were carried out in three countries (USA, England and Italy). Similar age-related changes were found in each laboratory. The lens membrane potential and resistance declined markedly with age while internal Na+ and free Ca2+ increased. There was a concomitant stimulation of Na+ and K+ transmembrane fluxes. These data indicate that in the ageing process there is an increasing contribution to membrane ion traffic from a channel, or channels, that permit Na+, K+ and Ca2+ to pass. The increase in permeability coincides exactly with the increase in optical density that occurs in the ageing human lens.

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