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Juliet A Moncaster, Olga Minaeva, Julia Drury, Sara Sidlowski, Stacy Andersen-Toomey, Thomas Perls, Lee E Goldstein; Age-related changes in lenses of healthy centenarian humans and old wild-type mice. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019;60(9):5690.
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Crystallins comprise ~90% of lens protein in mature lens fiber cells and undergo various post-translational modifications during aging that disrupt the normal functioning of the proteins, facilitating aggregation, insolubilization and light scattering. We investigated the effect of age on light scattering and lens opacities in very old (over 100 years old) healthy humans and wild-type mice (over 27 months old).
Human post-mortem lenses were collected from 2 patients over 100 years old as part of the New England Centenarian Study: 1 male aged 100, 1 female aged 108. Wild-type B6SJL mice were bred and maintained at Boston University. Aged mice were sacrificed and perfused with phosphate buffer saline and the lenses were isolated. Human and mouse lenses were imaged using a D70 digital Nikon camera and a custom-adapted Zeiss stereophotomicroscope.
Human post-mortem lenses collected from two patients over 100 years old showed age-related brunescence (‘yellowing’) as expected with age. A mild cortical cataract was observed in each case, however no nuclear cataracts were observed. Aged mice also demonstrated light scattering increases in the cortical regions of the lens but not the nucleus at 27 months+ compared to younger mice.
Aging affects lens light scattering in humans and mice. In centenarian humans who have lived a healthy lifespan, lenses may still be present and not have cataract surgery. Opacities were noted in the cortical region of the lens but not in the nucleus in both centenarian humans and aged wild-type mice. We propose the lens may be used as a measure of good health if still present in centenarians.
This abstract was presented at the 2019 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Vancouver, Canada, April 28 - May 2, 2019.
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