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A M Avunduk, S Yardimci, M C Avunduk, L Kurnaz, A Aydin, M C Koçkar, T Delibaşi, V Dayanir; Prevention of lens damage associated with cigarette smoke exposure in rats by alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E) treatment.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1999;40(2):537-541.
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PURPOSE: To evaluate the possible protective effect and mechanism of alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E) treatment on lens degeneration associated with in vivo exposure to cigarette smoke and to further clarify the role of iron in cigarette smoke-generated lens damage. METHODS: Twenty-eight male Wistar rats were randomly divided into four equal groups. Rats in groups 3 and 4 were exposed to cigarette smoke for 1 hour each day over 90 consecutive days, and rats in groups 1 and 2 were treated in similar fashion but only exposed to room air. Additionally, vitamin E was given to the rats in groups 2 and 4 via intramuscular route. At the end of the study, both eyes of all the animals were enucleated; one eye was prepared for histopathologic examination, and the fellow eye was used for the measurement of iron and calcium levels. RESULTS: Significantly higher iron and calcium levels were observed in the lenses of group 3 rats than in other groups. Similar comparisons performed between groups 1 and 2, groups 1 and 4, and groups 2 and 4 did not show any significant difference. Distinct histopathologic changes in the anterior lens epithelium, such as hyperplasia, hypertrophy, epithelial multilayering, and the presence of epithelial cells over posterior lens capsule, observed in group 3 rats were not present in other groups. CONCLUSIONS: Cataractogenesis after cigarette smoke exposure was associated with an accumulation of iron and calcium in the rat lens, and vitamin E supplementation protected such accumulations and cataractogenesis.
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