The literature pertaining to the production of cataract in the eyes of mammals has been reviewed recently by Bourne.1 A number of different chemicals are known to bring about a clouding of the lens when ingested by mammals, as when naphthalene is fed to rabbits and thallium acetate to rats. Likewise, ergot and dinitrophenol have been reported as being responsible for cataractous conditions in a number of human eyes. In 1935 Mitchell and Dodge2 observed that mature bilateral cataract developed in rats fed a ration containing 70 per cent lactose for ten weeks. They found that lesser amounts of lactose resulted in a slower development or a less pronounced opacity of the lens.
Mitchell3 then reported that it was the galactose fraction of the lactose molecule that was responsible for the changes in the lens and demonstrated that mature bilateral cataracts will develop in rats within twelve
SELLE RM. FAILURE OF GALACTOSE GIVEN SUBCUTANEOUSLY TO PRODUCE CATARACT IN RATS. Arch Ophthalmol. 1940;23(2):369–370. doi:10.1001/archopht.1940.00860130407009
Coronavirus Resource Center
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.