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Mol Vis. 2010 Aug 16;16:1646-53.

The effects of rapamycin on lens epithelial cell proliferation, migration, and matrix formation: an in vitro study.

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  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, The 1st Affiliated Hospital, Harbin Medical University, Harbin, PR China.



The objective of the present study was to investigate the efficacy of rapamycin on rabbit lens epithelial cell proliferation, migration, and secretion of extracellular matrix fibronectin (Fn).


Rabbit lens epithelium cells (rLECs) were isolated from 1 month old rabbit. rLECs were either cultured for 24, 48, or 72 h with different doses of rapamycin (0.1, 1, and 10 ng/ml). The proliferation kinetics, proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) expression, and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF)-induced migration of rLEC was determined by methyl thiazol tetrazolium (MTT) assay, western blotting and transwell chamber assay, respectively. The effect of rapamycin on the synthesis of Fn was examined via immunofluorescence.


Rapamycin significantly inhibited rLEC proliferation and PCNA protein expression when administered doses and time periods except for 0.1 ng/ml for 24 h. bFGF-induced migration rLECs was inhibited by pretreatment with rapamycin for 48 h. Extracellular matrix Fn formation of rLECs was also reduced by rapamycin.


In our study, rapamycin strongly inhibited rLEC proliferation, bFGF-induced migration, and extracellular matrix Fn formation. Thus, rapamycin may have a potential inhibition of posterior capsule opacification (PCO) and needs further study.

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