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G Bhanuprakash Reddy, P Y. Reddy, N. V. Giridharan; Metabolic Syndrome And Cataract: Studies With A Novel Obese Rat Model. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(14):3041.
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Obesity is a major public health problem worldwide, and off late, epidemiological studies indicate a preponderance of cataract under obesity conditions. Though, cataract is a multifactorial disorder and various biochemical mechanisms are proposed, the influence of obesity on cataractogenesis has not yet been investigated. A suitable animal model that develops cataract following the onset of obesity will be useful. We investigated the molecular and biochemical basis of predisposition to cataract in a novel obese rat model, WNIN-Ob rat, because 15-20% of WNIN-Ob rats develop cataracts spontaneously by the time they reach 12-15 months of age.
We have analyzed the major biochemical pathways in the normal lens of different age groups of novel obese mutant rat strains- WNIN/Ob and WNIN/GR-Ob, the former with euglycemia and other with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT).
Except for the polyol pathway, all other principal pathways of lens remained unaltered. Because of this, sorbitol levels were found to be high in the normal eye lens of WNIN/Ob and WNIN/GR-Ob rats compared to their lean controls from 3-months of age onwards. Increased sorbitol pathway thus seemed to cause oxidative stress in the lens of WNIN/Ob and WNIN/GR-Ob rats resulting in cataract in these animals. These results also indicate a synergistic effect of IGT along with obesity on the activation of sorbitol pathway, putting WNIN/GR-Ob rats at a higher risk of developing cataract.
These rat models of metabolic syndrome may thus be valuable tools for investigating obesity-induced cataract and also for developing intervention strategies.
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