Journal Article

The Use of Rat Lens Explant Cultures to Study the Mechanism of Drug-Induced Cataractogenesis

Shruthi Sampath, Lee Anne McLean, Chiara Buono, Pierre Moulin, Armin Wolf, Salah-Dine Chibout, Francois Pognan, Steve Busch, Nandita Shangari, Elba Cruz, Maya Gurnani, Parul Patel and Albert Reising

in Toxicological Sciences

Volume 126, issue 1, pages 128-139
Published in print March 2012 | ISSN: 1096-6080
Published online December 2011 | e-ISSN: 1096-0929 | DOI:
The Use of Rat Lens Explant Cultures to Study the Mechanism of Drug-Induced Cataractogenesis

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Lens explant cultures were used to assess the mechanism of drug-induced cataractogenic potential of NVS001, a peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor delta (PPARδ) agonist, which resulted in cataract in all treated animals during a 13-week rat study. Ciglitazone, a PPARγ agonist and cataractogenic compound, was used as a positive control to validate this model. Rat lenses were extracted and cultured in medium supplemented with antibiotics for 24-h preincubation pretreatment. Lenses showing no signs of damage at the end of the preincubation pretreatment period were randomized into five experimental groups, (1) untreated control, (2) 0.1% dimethyl sulphoxide control, (3) 10μM NVS001, (4) 10μM ciglitazone, and (5) 10μM acetaminophen (negative control). Lenses were treated every 24 h after preincubation pretreatment for up to 48 h. Samples for viability, histology, and gene expression profiling were collected at 4, 24, and 48 h. There was a time-dependent increase in opacity, which correlated to a decrease in viability measured by adenosine triphosphate levels in NVS001 and ciglitazone-treated lenses compared with controls. NVS001 and ciglitazone had comparable cataractogenic effects after 48 h with histology showing rupture of the lens capsule, lens fiber degeneration, cortical lens vacuolation, and lens epithelial degeneration. Furthermore, no changes were seen when lenses were treated with acetaminophen. Gene expression analysis supported oxidative and osmotic stress, along with decreases in membrane and epithelial cell integrity as key factors in NVS001-induced cataracts. This study suggests that in vitro lens cultures can be used to assess cataractogenic potential of PPAR agonists and to study/understand the underlying molecular mechanism of cataractogenesis in rat.

Keywords: lens cultures; cataracts; safety; ocular toxicity

Journal Article.  6193 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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