The authors present a prospective comparative study in 43 patients with (group 1) or without (group 2) pseudoexfoliation (PXF) undergoing cataract surgery. Anterior capsule samples were obtained in all patients and analysed for signs of apoptosis by using special staining techniques and microscopy (TUNEL assay). Apoptosis rates were statistically significantly higher in group 1 than in group 2 eyes. Lens epithelial cells (LECs) are essential for maintaining lens transparency through homeostasis and studies have shown that LEC apoptosis may lead to cataract formation. An imbalance among oxidative stress, antioxidant protection and repair processes results in the development of cataracts. Previous studies have shown decreased levels of antioxidants in patients with PXF compared with controls. The authors of this study suggest that increased apoptosis rates in LECs has a role in the higher rate of cataracts in PFX patients.

The association of cataract and lens epithelial cell apoptosis in patients with pseudoexfoliation syndrome.
Oltulu P, Oltulu R.
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Kurt Spiteri Cornish

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, London, UK.

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