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October 1964

Effect of Ouabain on Active Transport of Sodium in the Cornea

Author Affiliations

New York
Summer fellow on a Fight for Sight Fellowship (Mr. Lambert).; From the Department of Ophthalmology, Institute of Ophthalmology, Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, Columbia University.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1964;72(4):525-528. doi:10.1001/archopht.1964.00970020525017

Introduction  Ouabain (G-Strophanthin) inhibits the activity of Na-K activated adenosinetriphosphatase (ATPase) in in vitro and in vivo systems.1-3 The active transport of Na and K across the membranes of frog skin and erythrocytes is also inhibited by ouabain.4,5 Simon and Bonting6 have shown Na-K activated ATPase to be present in the ciliary body and to be inhibited by ouabain. Administration of ouabain resulted in a decrease in aqueous flow and a drop in intraocular pressure, presumably due to an inhibition of sodium transport across the ciliary epithelium.6A The corneal epithelium actively transports sodium,7 but the enzyme Na-K activated ATPase has not yet been demonstrated in this tissue. It was the purpose of this investigation to study the effect of ouabain on the active transport of sodium across the corneal epithelium.

Method  A technique for maintaining rabbit corneas alive between two Lucite chambers so that the

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