The ability to produce cataract in the albino rat at will by a nutritional method offers a means for the study of factors influencing its production. Such a method was made available by the report of Mitchell and Dodge1 that cataracts developed in rats fed on a lactose diet. This report was confirmed and extended to show that galactose produced cataracts much more rapidly than lactose (Mitchell,2 Dodge3 and Yudkin and Arnold4).
The galactose cataract has been explained by Mitchell as the result of injury to the epithelium of the lens by this sugar. Her assertion is based on the observation of Kirby and his collaborators5 that a low concentration of a solution of galactose (as compared to that of a solution of dextrose) is toxic to tissue cultures of lenticular epithelium. She believes that as a result of the injury to the lenticular
BELLOWS JG. BIOCHEMISTRY OF THE LENS: IX. INFLUENCE OF VITAMIN C AND SULFHYDRYLS ON THE PRODUCTION OF GALACTOSE CATARACT. Arch Ophthalmol. 1936;16(5):762–769. doi:10.1001/archopht.1936.00840230042002
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