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April 1956

Changes in Lens Proteins of Rats During Aging

Author Affiliations

New York
From the Department of Ophthalmology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

AMA Arch Ophthalmol. 1956;55(4):471-483. doi:10.1001/archopht.1956.00930030475003

Changes in the lens of aged humans and animals are among the most conspicuous symptoms of the aging process in the animal body. They can be evaluated approximately by measuring changes in the refractive index of the lens. This and two other factors make the lens a particularly favorable object for investigations of the cellular mechanism of aging. The first of these factors is the relative simplicity of the morphological structure of the lens, due to the lack of vessels. The second factor is the apparent simplicity of the chemical composition and the abundance of the protein in the lens fibers. Two changes in the chemical composition of the lens with advancing age have long been recognized and studied: (1) the continuous loss of water in the lens, first investigated systematically by Bürger and Schlomka1 (1927) and by Salit,2 and (2) the progressive accumulation, observed as far back

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