Age-related changes in eye lens biomechanics, morphology, refractive index and transparency

Cheng, Catherine, Parreno, Justin, Nowak, Roberta B., Biswas, Sondip K., Wang, Kehao, Hoshino, Masato, Uesugi, Kentaro, Yagi, Naoto, Moncaster, Juliet A., Lo, Woo-Kuen, Pierscionek, Barbara K. and Fowler, Velia M. (2019) Age-related changes in eye lens biomechanics, morphology, refractive index and transparency. Aging, 11 (24). pp. 12497-12531. ISSN 1945-4589

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Life-long eye lens function requires an appropriate gradient refractive index, biomechanical integrity and transparency. We conducted an extensive study of wild-type mouse lenses 1-30 months of age to define common age-related changes. Biomechanical testing and morphometrics revealed an increase in lens volume and stiffness with age. Lens capsule thickness and peripheral fiber cell widths increased between 2 to 4 months of age but not further, and thus, cannot account for significant age-dependent increases in lens stiffness after 4 months. In lenses from mice older than 12 months, we routinely observed cataracts due to changes in cell structure, with anterior cataracts due to incomplete suture closure and a cortical ring cataract corresponding to a zone of compaction in cortical lens fiber cells. Refractive index measurements showed a rapid growth in peak refractive index between 1 to 6 months of age, and the area of highest refractive index is correlated with increases in lens nucleus size with age. These data provide a comprehensive overview of age-related changes in murine lenses, including lens size, stiffness, nuclear fraction, refractive index, transparency, capsule thickness and cell structure. Our results suggest similarities between murine and primate lenses and provide a baseline for future lens aging studies

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: fiber cell, strain, epithelial cell, cataract, stiffness
Faculty: Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine & Social Care
Depositing User: Ian Walker
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2021 22:07
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 18:54

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