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Ophthalmic Res. 2001 Jan-Feb;33(1):52-9.

Preventive effect of diethyldithiocarbamate on selenite-induced opacity in cultured rat lenses.

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  • 1School of Pharmacy, Kinki University, Higashi-Osaka, Japan.


Increasing evidence suggests the involvement of reactive oxygen species in the development of cataracts. In this study, we investigated the preventive effect of diethyldithiocarbamate (DDC) on the selenite-induced opacification of cultured rat lenses. Lens opacity was produced by incubation with 0.2 mM selenite for 24 h, which resulted in an increase in selenium content in the cultured lenses. The increase in selenium content and the onset of opacification and lens membrane damage were inhibited by preincubation with DDC. It is reasonable to assume that DDC contributed to anticataract ability. In addition, selenite resulted in a significant decrease in glutathione and protein thiol content and an increase in lipid peroxidation levels in the lenses. These alterations were also depressed by DDC, suggesting a contribution of an antioxidative effect by DDC in the inhibition of lens opacification. At the same lens selenium content, DDC treatment inhibited opacification and lipid peroxide. In conclusion, we propose that the antioxidative properties of DDC play a major role in its contribution to the anticataract effect.

Copyright 2001 S. Karger AG, Basel

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