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Jpn J Ophthalmol. 2000 Jan-Feb;44(1):88-91.

A possible mechanism of X-ray-induced injury in rat lens.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Karadeniz Technical University, School of Medicine, Trabzon, Turkey.



X-ray and other radiation can cause cataract, but the pathogenic mechanism is largely unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate the accumulation of iron in the x-ray-exposed rat lens and its relationship to lens injury.


Fifty male Wistar rats were divided randomly into five groups of 10. Groups 2 and 4 rats were sham-exposed, groups 3 and 5 were x-ray-treated, and group 1 served as control. X-ray radiation and sham exposure were performed in a similar manner. After 10 and 30 days of exposure, a lens from each rat in groups 2 and 3, and 3 and 5, respectively, were analyzed by flame atomic absorption technique for the assessment of metal content.


Significantly decreased zinc and increased iron and calcium concentrations were detected in the lens samples of groups 3 and 5 compared with groups 2 and 4 and controls. Similar results were obtained comparing groups 5 and 3.


We propose that x-ray exposure may cause toxic cell injury of the rat lens via Fenton metals catalyzed damage. Initial lens membrane damage in the radiolytic phase may permit the access of iron resulting in lens damage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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