No satisfactory reason has as yet been advanced for the phenomenon of lactose and galactose cataract in rats, as first observed by Mitchell and Dodge.1 One possible explanation is the injurious effect of galactose on the capsular epithelium, as reported by Kirby.2
In an attempt to find a more likely explanation, we undertook the investigation of the effect of galactose on the permeability of the capsule of the lens. It is obvious that any abnormality in this membrane might lead to changes in the lens itself, because the lens, being a nonvascular organ, must depend on its immediate surroundings for its supply of nutrients. Substances in the aqueous humor when entering the lens must pass through the capsule of the lens, and waste products from the lens must penetrate the capsule in the opposite direction.
Some investigators have considered abnormalities in capsular permeability as important factors in
BELLOWS J, ROSNER L. BIOCHEMISTRY OF THE LENS: XI. EFFECT OF GALACTOSE ON PERMEABILITY OF THE CAPSULE OF THE LENS. Arch Ophthalmol. 1938;20(1):80–84. doi:10.1001/archopht.1938.00850190092008
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