Sodium-potassium-adenosine triphosphatase (Na,K-ATPase) has long been recognized for its role in regulating electrolyte concentrations in the lens, within which the electrolyte balance is vital to lens transparency. In this study, we compared the abundance of the α-subunit of Na,K-ATPase in lens epithelia of patients with senile cataracts, in order to examine the role of this enzyme in various types of lens opacity. Human lens epithelia were collected from 27 patients with senile cataracts who had undergone phacoemulsification. The type and the severity of lens opacity were graded and scored according to the Lens Opacities Classification System II. The mean age of the patients was 67.5 years (range, 46-80 yr). Abundance of the Na,K- ATPase α-subunit peptide in the lens epithelium was quantified by means of Western immunoblotting. Immunoblotting revealed that the amount of Na,K- ATPase α-subunit tended to decrease with increased cataract severity. In hypermature cataracts, the Na, K-ATPase α-subunit was barely detectable. The amount of α-subunit of Na,K-ATPase was inversely-correlated with the overall severity of cataract (r = -0.64, p 0.002). However, the inverse correlation was significant only in the cortical region (p = 0.027). As the cortex is located adjacent to the lens epithelium, it is directly affected by the loss of function of Na,K-ATPase in the epithelium. Such loss could result in water accumulation, vesicles, water clefts, Morgagnian globule formation, and Morgagnian cataract.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Journal of the Formosan Medical Association|
|Publication status||Published - 1999 Sep|
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