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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2009 Jun;50(6):2913-8. doi: 10.1167/iovs.09-3510. Epub 2009 Mar 25.

Enhanced diabetes-induced cataract in copper-zinc superoxide dismutase-null mice.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Sciences/Ophthalmology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.



Oxidative stress is thought to contribute to diabetes-induced cataract, and the authors have previously demonstrated that lenses from mice lacking the antioxidant enzyme copper-zinc superoxide dismutase (SOD1) show elevated levels of superoxide radicals and are more prone in vitro to develop glucose-induced cataract than are wild-type lenses. In the present study the effect of streptozotocin-induced diabetes mellitus on cataract formation in SOD1-null and wild-type mice in vivo was examined.


Eight weeks after diabetes was established by repeated intraperitoneal streptozotocin injections, the mice were killed and the lenses removed and photographed in retroillumination. The cataract was quantified from the photographs by digital image analysis and the lens contents of glutathione (GSH) as well as the lens protein carbonyl contents suggestive of protein oxidation were analyzed.


The streptozotocin-induced diabetic SOD1-null mice developed more cataract than the diabetic wild-type mice. Also, lens GSH levels were lower in the diabetic SOD1-null mice than in the nondiabetic SOD1-null mice. However, the protein carbonyls were equally raised in the diabetic mice of both genotypes.


The increased cataract formation and the compromised antioxidant capacity found in the diabetic SOD1-null lenses thus emphasize the involvement of superoxide radicals in diabetes-induced cataract.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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