Histologic changes in selenite cortical cataract

R. S. Anderson, D. R. Trune, T. R. Shearer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Massive cortical cataract was produced 15-30 days after a single injection of an overdose of sodium selenite into 14-day-old rats. Most of the cortical cataract appeared to be due to extensive liquefaction of cortical fibers. Water influx, following initial damage to the epithelium by selenium, and action of lens proteases were probable mechanisms for the extensive liquefaction. Remarkably, selenite cortical cataract spontaneously cleared after several months, restoring essentially normal cells to the epithelium and outer and mid-cortex. Major mechanisms for clearing probably involved: (1) removal of damaged proteins from the lens by extensive proteolysis; and (2) replacement of fibers by resumption of normal fibergenesis. The data emphasized the remarkable reparative potential of the lens, and indicated the usefulness of the selenite cortical cataract as a model to study such processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1418-1427
Number of pages10
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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