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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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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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