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November 1960

Studies on Galactose Cataract Formation Utilizing Thymidine-Tritium

Author Affiliations

Burlington, Vt.
From the Department of Pharmacology, The University of Vermont College of Medicine.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1960;64(5):708-711. doi:10.1001/archopht.1960.01840010710013

Rats maintained on galactose diets develop lens hydrop cataracts within a short period of time. The microscopic changes seen in the lens epithelium during the formation of the cataract consist of an initial phase of rapid cell proliferation reaching a peak in five days, followed by a rapidly diminishing mitotic rate with clinical signs of the developing lens opacity.1 During the initial phase an excessive number of cells is produced. A measurement of this proliferative rate and the effect of this sudden increase in new cells on the movement of cells into the lens bow region is the subject of this report.

When thymidine-tritium is injected into the anterior chamber of an eye it is taken up only by those cells synthesizing new desoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in the premitotic doubling stage. This labeled DNA is demonstrable within the nuclei of the lens epithelial cells using high resolution autoradiography. By

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