Send to

Choose Destination
Antioxid Redox Signal. 2009 Feb;11(2):339-53. doi: 10.1089/ars.2008.2119.

Oxidative stress, lens gap junctions, and cataracts.

Author information

Department of Pediatrics, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.


The eye lens is constantly subjected to oxidative stress from radiation and other sources. The lens has several mechanisms to protect its components from oxidative stress and to maintain its redox state, including enzymatic pathways and high concentrations of ascorbate and reduced glutathione. With aging, accumulation of oxidized lens components and decreased efficiency of repair mechanisms can contribute to the development of lens opacities or cataracts. Maintenance of transparency and homeostasis of the avascular lens depend on an extensive network of gap junctions. Communication through gap junction channels allows intercellular passage of molecules (up to 1 kDa) including antioxidants. Lens gap junctions and their constituent proteins, connexins (Cx43, Cx46, and Cx50), are also subject to the effects of oxidative stress. These observations suggest that oxidative stress-induced damage to connexins (and consequent altered intercellular communication) may contribute to cataract formation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center