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Christopher J. Gee, Gaddy Heilweil, Kentaro Nishida, Jean Pierre Hubschman; Heavy Metal Concentrations in Porcine Ocular Tissues. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):3334.
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To measure the concentrations of heavy metals in the tissues of porcine eyes.
Twelve autopsy porcine eyes were dissected to obtain aqueous, vitreous, lens, ciliary body, retina and retinal pigment epithelium(RPE) samples. Concentrations of aluminum, titanium, vanadium, chromium, manganese, iron, cobalt, nickel, copper, zinc, selenium, strontium, molybdenum, silver, cadmium, tin, antimony, thallium and lead were determined using an inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometer and expressed as ng/g.
All heavy metals studied except thallium were found in the ocular tissues. Iron had the highest concentration in the RPE (mean 27031.82 + 9007.23 ng/g), followed closely by copper (mean 27031.82 + 9007.23ng/g) and zinc (1488.11 + 307.82ng/g). Those metals were also found to have high levels in the neuroretina. Potentially toxic lead and cadmium were among the lowest levels of all metals studied, and were preferentially concentrated in the RPE (mean 3.17 + 1.56 ng/g and 3.10 + 1.48 correspondingly).
Iron, zinc and copper were found to have among the highest concentration in all the different fluids and tissues of the porcine eyes, and had their highest concentration in the RPE and neuroretina. Lead and cadmium accumulated in porcine ocular tissues particularly in the retinal pigment epithelium. Our process of measuring the heavy metals in ocular tissues appears consistent with previously reported methods. The same process may be used to analyze heavy metal levels in human ocular tissues. Heavy metals may play a role in oxidative processes theorized to cause certain pathologic states. Measuring heavy metal levels in human ocular tissues may help us understand more about disease processes.
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