[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to examine the ontogeny and phylogeny of lens growth in a variety of species using allometry.
Data on the accumulation of wet and/or dry lens weight as a function of bodyweight were obtained for 40 species and subjected to allometric analysis to examine ontogenic growth and compaction. Allometric analysis was also used to compare the maximum adult lens weights for 147 species with the maximum adult bodyweight and to compare lens volumes calculated from wet and dry weights with eye volumes calculated from axial length.
Linear allometric relationships were obtained for the comparison of ontogenic lens and bodyweight accumulation. The body mass exponent (BME) decreased with increasing animal size from around 1.0 in small rodents to 0.4 in large ungulates for both wet and dry weights. Compaction constants for the ontogenic growth ranged from 1.00 in birds and reptiles up to 1.30 in mammals. Allometric comparison of maximum lens wet and dry weights with maximum bodyweights also yielded linear plots with a BME of 0.504 for all warm blooded species except primates which had a BME of 0.25. When lens volumes were compared with eye volumes, all species yielded a scaling constant of 0.75 but the proportionality constants for primates and birds were lower.
Ontogenic lens growth is fastest, relative to body growth, in small animals and slowest in large animals. Fiber cell compaction takes place throughout life in most species, but not in birds and reptiles. Maximum adult lens size scales with eye size with the same exponent in all species, but birds and primates have smaller lenses relative to eye size than other species. Optical properties of the lens are generated through the combination of variations in the rate of growth, rate of compaction, shape and size.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To examine the accumulation of wet and/or dry weight in the ocular lens as a function of age in different species.
Wet weights and/or fixed dry weights were obtained from measurements in the author's laboratory and from the literature for over 14,000 lenses of known-ages, representing 130 different species. Various algorithms were tested to determine the most suitable for describing the relationship between lens weight and age.
For 126 of the species examined, lens growth is continuous throughout life but asymptotic and can be reasonably described with a single logistic equation, W=Wm e(-(k/A)), where W is lens wet or dry weight; Wm is the maximum asymptotic weight, k is the logistic growth constant and A is the time from conception. For humans, elephants, hippopotami, minks, wild goats and woodchucks, lens growth appears to be biphasic. No gender differences could be detected in the lens weights for 70 species but male lenses are reportedly 10% larger than those of females in northern fur seals and pheasants. Dry weight accumulation is faster than that for wet weight in all species except birds and reptiles where the rates are the same. Low lens growth rates are associated with small animals with short gestation periods and short life spans.
Lens growth is continuous throughout life and, for most species, is independent of gender. For most, growth takes place through a monophasic asymptotic mode and is unaffected by events such as hibernation. This makes lens weight measurement a reliable tool for age determination of species culled in the wild. Compaction of the growing lens generates different properties, appropriate to an animal's lifestyle. How these events are controlled remains to be established.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In a recent article in Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology, Jonas and co-workers presented in vivo lens thickness measurement from over 4,500 subjects in rural India.(1) While the authors are to be congratulated for undertaking such an enormous task, unfortunately it would appear that their data and conclusions may be flawed since they differ substantially from those observed in other studies. It was reported that lens thickness in males increases from 3.85 mm at age 30-39 to 4.08 mm in the 60-69 age group and, thereafter, decreases to 3.98 mm in the 9(th) decade. Over the same times, female lenses were reported to increase from 3.82 mm to 3.93 mm and then decrease to 3.72 mm. A locally weighted scatter plot smoothing function of the data suggests that thickness increases to a maximum around age 50 and then decreases for the rest of life. Linear regression analysis, dominated by data from years 30-50, suggests that thickness increased at 0.003 mm/year. Because of the large number of observations, the linear correlation between lens thickness and age was statistically significant (p<0.001) although the correlation coefficient was low (0.078).
Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology 12/2012; · 1.96 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Context: The eye lens grows throughout life by the addition of new cells inside the surrounding capsule. How this growth affects the properties of the lens is essential for understanding disorders such as cataract and presbyopia. Aims: To examine growth of the human lens in the Indian population and compare this with the growth in Western populations by measuring in vitro dimensions together with wet and dry weights. Settings and Design: The study was conducted at the research wing of a tertiary eye care center in South India and the study design was prospective. Materials and Methods: Lenses were removed from eye bank eyes and their dimensions measured with a digital caliper. They were then carefully blotted dry and weighed before being placed in 5% buffered formalin. After 1 week fixation, the lenses were dried at 80 °C until constant weight was achieved. The constant weight was noted as the dry weight of the lens. Statistical Analysis Used: Lens parameters were analyzed as a function of age using linear and logarithmic regression methods. Results: Data were obtained for 251 lenses, aged 16-93 years, within a median postmortem time of 22 h. Both wet and dry weights increased linearly at 1.24 and 0.44 mg/year, respectively, throughout adult life. The dimensions also increased continuously throughout this time. Conclusions: Over the age range examined, lens growth in the Indian population is very similar to that in Western populations.
Indian Journal of Ophthalmology 11/2012; 60(6):511-5. · 1.02 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to examine growth of the human eye globe and cornea from early in gestation to late in adult life. Globe antero-posterior length, horizontal and vertical diameters, corneal horizontal and vertical (white to white) diameters and posterior pole to limbus distances were measured using digital calipers (±0.01 mm) in 541 postmortem eyes. Additional pre- and postnatal data for some of the dimensions were obtained from the literature. All dimensions examined increase rapidly during prenatal development but postnatal growth differs. Growth of globe antero-posterior length, vertical and horizontal diameters as well as corneal vertical and horizontal diameters stops within 1 year after birth. Logistic analysis is consistent with an asymptotic prenatal growth mode and no further growth after its completion around 1 year after birth. Horizontal and vertical globe diameters are the same at all ages but the corneal horizontal diameter is always larger than the vertical diameter. No differences could be detected between males and females in any of the ocular dimensions. Globe and corneal growth take place primarily during the prenatal growth mode and dimensions reach their maxima, shortly after birth. It is suggested that cessation of a growth stimulating signal at birth marks the end of the prenatal growth mode and that the small increases over the next year are due to cells already stimulated. Male and female eyes of the same age have the same globe and cornea dimensions.
Experimental Eye Research 07/2012; 102:70-5. · 3.03 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to study the age-dependence of the optomechanical properties of human lenses during simulated disaccommodation in a mechanical lens stretcher, designed to determine accommodative forces as a function of stretch distance, to compare the results with in vivo disaccommodation and to examine whether differences exist between eyes harvested in the USA and India. Postmortem human eyes obtained in the USA (n=46, age=6-83 years) and India (n=91, age=1 day-85 years) were mounted in an optomechanical lens stretching system and dissected to expose the lens complete with its accommodating framework, including zonules, ciliary body, anterior vitreous and a segmented rim of sclera. Disaccommodation was simulated through radial stretching of the sectioned globe by 2mm in increments of 0.25 mm. The load, inner ciliary ring diameter, lens equatorial diameter, central thickness and power were measured at each step. Changes in these parameters were examined as a function of age, as were the dimension/load and power/load responses. Unstretched lens diameter and thickness increased over the whole age range examined and were indistinguishable from those of in vivo lenses as well as those of in vitro lenses freed from zonular attachments. Stretching increased the diameter and decreased the thickness in all lenses examined but the amount of change decreased with age. Unstretched lens power decreased with age and the accommodative amplitude decreased to zero by age 45-50. The load required to produce maximum stretch was independent of age (median 80 mN) whereas the change in lens diameter and power per unit load decreased significantly with age. The age related changes in the properties of human lenses, as observed in the lens stretching device, are similar to those observed in vivo and are consistent with the classical Helmholtz theory of accommodation. The response of lens diameter and power to disaccommodative (stretching) forces decreases with age, consistent with lens nuclear stiffening.
Vision research 05/2011; 51(14):1667-78. · 2.29 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to determine the contribution of the gradient refractive index to the change in lens power in hamadryas baboon and cynomolgus monkey lenses during simulated accommodation in a lens stretcher. Thirty-six monkey lenses (1.4-14.1 years) and twenty-five baboon lenses (1.8-28.0 years) were stretched in discrete steps. At each stretching step, the lens back vertex power was measured and the lens cross-section was imaged with optical coherence tomography. The radii of curvature for the lens anterior and posterior surfaces were calculated for each step. The power of each lens surface was determined using refractive indices of 1.365 for the outer cortex and 1.336 for the aqueous. The gradient contribution was calculated by subtracting the power of the surfaces from the measured lens power. In all lenses, the contribution of the surfaces and gradient increased linearly with the amplitude of accommodation. The gradient contributes on average 65 ± 3% for monkeys and 66 ± 3% for baboons to the total power change during accommodation. When expressed in percent of the total power change, the relative contribution of the gradient remains constant with accommodation and age in both species. These findings are consistent with Gullstrand's intracapsular theory of accommodation.
Journal of Vision 01/2011; 11(13):23. · 2.48 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Development in marsupials takes place predominantly ex utero while the young is attached to a nipple in the mother's pouch, very different from that in other species. This study was undertaken to examine whether this affects lens growth and the production of lens proteins in kangaroos.
Fresh lenses were obtained at official culls from eastern gray kangaroos (Macropus giganteus). Wet weights were recorded for all and protein contents were determined for one lens from each animal. Dry weights, after fixation were obtained for 20 lenses. Ages were determined using both molar progression and total lens protein content. Lenses were divided into concentric layers by controlled dissolution using phosphate buffered saline. Samples were taken for determination of protein contents and dry weights, which were then used to determine the age of the layer removed. Soluble crystallin distributions were determined by fractionation of the centrifuged extracts using HPLC-GPC and the polypeptide contents of both soluble and insoluble proteins were assessed by SDS-PAGE.
Lens growth is continuous from birth throughout adulthood and the increases in wet weight and fixed dry weight can be described with a single logistic growth functions for the whole life span. Three major crystallin classes, α-, β-, and γ-crystallins, were identified in the immature pouch-young animals aged around 60 days after birth. Adult lenses contain, in addition, the taxon-specific μ-crystallin. The proportions of these vary with the age of the lens tissue due to age related insolubilization as well as changes in the synthesis patterns. During early lactation (birth to 190 days), the α-, β-, and γ-crystallins represent 25, 53, and 20% of the total protein, respectively. After the pouch-young first releases the nipple (190 days), there is a rapid decrease in the production of γ-crystallins to around 5% of the total and a corresponding increase in μ-crystallin, from 0.5% to 15%. These changes were complete by the time the animal was fully weaned, around 1.5 years, and the final proportions of the 4 protein classes were maintained for the rest of life. The solubilities of α- and β-crystallins in the center of the lens decreased after age 5 years.
Kangaroo lens growth is asymptotic, similar to that in most other species, even though most development of the young animal takes place ex utero. Changes in the patterns of lens protein synthesis in the kangaroo are similar to those observed in other species except for the large decrease in γ-crystallin and the matching increase in the marsupial-specific μ-crystallin, during late lactation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose. To characterize the age dependence of shape, refractive power, and refractive index of isolated lenses from nonhuman primates. Methods. Measurements were performed on ex vivo lenses from cynomolgus monkeys (cyno: n = 120; age, 2.7-14.3 years), rhesus monkeys (n = 61; age, 0.7-13.3 years), and hamadryas baboons (baboon: n = 16; age, 1.7-27.3 years). Lens thickness, diameter, and surface curvatures were measured with an optical comparator. Lens refractive power was measured with a custom optical system based on the Scheiner principle. The refractive contributions of the gradient, the surfaces, and the equivalent refractive index were calculated with optical ray-tracing software. The age dependence of the optical and biometric parameters was assessed. Results. Over the measured age range isolated lens thickness decreased (baboon: -0.04, cyno: -0.05, and rhesus: -0.06 mm/y) and equatorial diameter increased (logarithmically for the baboon and rhesus, and linearly for cyno: 0.07 mm/y). The isolated lens surfaces flattened and the corresponding refractive power from the surfaces decreased with age (-0.33, -0.48, and -0.68 D/y). The isolated lens equivalent refractive index decreased (only significant for the baboon, -0.001 D/y), and as a result the total isolated lens refractive power decreased with age (baboon: -1.26, cyno: -0.97, and rhesus: -1.76 D/y). Conclusions. The age-dependent trends in the optical and biometric properties, growth, and aging, of nonhuman primate lenses are similar to those of the pre-presbyopic human lens. As the lens ages, the decrease in refractive contributions from the gradient refractive index causes a rapid age-dependent decrease in maximally accommodated lens refractive power.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Growth of the human lens and the development of its internal features are examined using in vivo and in vitro observations on dimensions, weights, cell sizes, protein gradients and other properties. In vitro studies have shown that human lens growth is biphasic, asymptotic until just after birth and linear for most of postnatal life. This generates two distinct compartments, the prenatal and the postnatal. The prenatal growth mode leads to the formation of an adult nuclear core of fixed dimensions and the postnatal, to an ever-expanding cortex. The nuclear core and the cortex have different properties and can readily be physically separated. Communication and adhesion between the compartments is poor in older lenses. In vivo slit lamp examination reveals several zones of optical discontinuity in the lens. Different nomenclatures have been used to describe these, with the most common recognizing the embryonic, foetal, juvenile and adult nuclei as well as the cortex and outer cortex. Implicit in this nomenclature is the idea that the nuclear zones were generated at defined periods of development and growth. This review examines the relationship between the two compartments observed in vitro and the internal structures revealed by slit lamp photography. Defining the relationship is not as simple as it might seem because of remodeling and cell compaction which take place, mostly in the first 20 years of postnatal life. In addition, different investigators use different nomenclatures when describing the same regions of the lens. From a consideration of the dimensions, the dry mass contents and the protein distributions in the lens and in the various zones, it can be concluded that the juvenile nucleus and the layers contained within it, as well as most of the adult nucleus, were actually produced during prenatal life and the adult nucleus was completed within 3 months after birth, in the final stages of the prenatal growth mode. Further postnatal growth takes place entirely within the cortex. It can also be demonstrated that the in vitro nuclear core corresponds to the combined slit lamp nuclear zones. In view of the information presented in this review, the use of the terms foetal, juvenile and adult nucleus seems inappropriate and should be abandoned.
Experimental Eye Research 02/2010; 90(6):643-54. · 3.03 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Complexes containing α-crystallin were isolated from crosslinked lens extract using an affinity column constructed with monoclonal antibodies specific for α-crystallin. The affinity-purified protein was compared with α-crystallins before and after crosslinking. Electron microscopy revealed sheet-like structures in the cross-linked protein from the lens extract compared with spherical structures for the others. Studies on the amino acid composition, tryptophan microenvironments and the interaction with a monoclonal antibody revealed that the complexes consist almost entirely of α-crystallin. These results indicate that under certain conditions, α-crystallin subunits can adopt a sheet-like form.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In an attempt to determine the feasibility of using the porcine lens as a model for research into human lens ageing and cataract we have investigated the distribution of proteins across the lens. Analysis of the soluble protein distributions in the porcine lens indicated that the distribution of high, middle and low molecular weight proteins changed in a way similar to that observed for a young human lens. Changes in the amount of water insoluble proteins across the lens, which are used as an indicator of age-dependent changes and cataract formation, also resembled those observed in the human lens. Coupled to previous observations showing the similarity in metabolism between porcine and human lenses, we suggest that the porcine lens may be more appropriate than the current animal models such as rat, rabbit or bovine, for studies of human lens ageing and cataract. (Clin Exp Optom 1995; 78: 3: 87–92)