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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2018 Jul 2;59(8):3591-3598. doi: 10.1167/iovs.18-23935.

Aldose Reductase Inhibition Prevents Development of Posterior Capsular Opacification in an In Vivo Model of Cataract Surgery.

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Department of Ophthalmology, University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Colorado, United States.
Asociación para Evitar la Ceguera en México, Mexico City, Mexico.
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Colorado, United States.



Cataract surgery is a procedure by which the lens fiber cell mass is removed from its capsular bag and replaced with a synthetic intraocular lens. Postoperatively, remnant lens epithelial cells can undergo an aberrant wound healing response characterized by an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), leading to posterior capsular opacification (PCO). Aldose reductase (AR) inhibition has been shown to decrease EMT markers in cell culture models. In this study, we aim to demonstrate that AR inhibition can attenuate induction of EMT markers in an in vivo model of cataract surgery.


A modified extracapsular lens extraction (ECLE) was performed on C57BL/6 wildtype, AR overexpression (AR-Tg), and AR knockout mice. Immunofluorescent staining for the myofibroblast marker α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), epithelial marker E-cadherin, and lens fiber cell markers αA-crystallin and Aquaporin 0 was used to characterize postoperative PCO. Quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) was employed to quantify postoperative changes in α-SMA, vimentin, fibronectin, and E-cadherin. In a separate experiment, the AR inhibitor Sorbinil was applied postoperatively and qRT-PCR was used to assess changes in EMT markers.


Genetic AR knockout reduced ECLE-induced upregulation of α-SMA and downregulation of E-cadherin. These immunofluorescent changes were mirrored quantitatively in changes in mRNA levels. Similarly, Sorbinil blocked characteristic postoperative EMT changes in AR-Tg mice. Interestingly, genetic AR knockout did not prevent postoperative induction of the lens fiber cell markers αA-crystallin and Aquaporin 0.


AR inhibition prevents the postoperative changes in EMT markers characteristic of PCO yet preserves the postoperative induction of lens fiber cell markers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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