Analysis of nuclear fiber cell cytoplasmic texture in advanced cataractous lenses from Indian subjects using Debye-Bueche theory.
Alterations in ultrastructural features of the lens fiber cells lead to scattering and opacity typical of cataracts. The organelle-free cytoplasm of the lens nuclear fiber cell is one such component that contains vital information about the packing and organization of crystallins critical to lens transparency. The current work has extended analysis of the cytoplasmic texture to transparent and advanced cataractous lenses from India and related the extent of texturing to the nuclear scattering observed using the Debye-Bueche theory for inhomogeneous materials. Advanced age-related nuclear cataracts (age-range 38-75 years) and transparent lenses (age-range 48-78 years) were obtained following extracapsular cataract removal or from the eye bank, at the L.V. Prasad Eye Institute. Lens nuclei were Vibratome-sectioned, fixed and prepared for transmission electron microscopy using established techniques. Electron micrographs of the unstained thin sections of the cytoplasm were acquired at 6500x and percent scattering for wavelengths 400-700 nm was calculated using the Debye-Bueche theory. Electron micrographs from comparable areas in an oxidative-damage sensitive (OXYS) rat model and normal rat lenses preserved from an earlier study were used, as they have extremely textured and smooth cytoplasms, respectively. The Debye-Bueche theoretical approach produces plots that vary smoothly with wavelength and are sensitive to spatial fluctuations in density. The central lens fiber cells from advanced cataractous lenses from India and the OXYS rat, representing opaque lens nuclei, produced the greatest texture and scattering. The transparent human lenses from India had a smoother texture and less predicted scattering, similar to early cataracts from previous studies. The normal rat lens had a homogeneous cytoplasm and little scattering. The data indicate that this method allowed easy comparison of small variations in cytoplasmic texture and robustly detected differences between transparent and advanced cataractous human lenses. This may relate directly to the proportion of opacification contributed by the packing of crystallins. The percent scattering calculated using this method may thus be used to generate a range of curves with which to compare and quantify the relative contribution of the packing of crystallins to the loss of transparency and scattering observed.
Metlapally, S; Costello, MJ; Gilliland, KO; Ramamurthy, B; Krishna, PV; Balasubramanian, D; Johnsen, S
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