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Relationship between lenticular vitamin e level and cataract formation in experimentally diabetic rats

Relationship between lenticular vitamin e level and cataract formation in experimentally diabetic rats

Nippon Ganka Gakkai Zasshi 90(2): 313-320

To examine the relationship between lenticular vitamin E (Vit. E) level and diabetic cataract formation, we determined Vit. E and its analogues in rat lens by high-performance liquid chromatography and investigated the changes in Vit. E and lipid peroxide levels in diabetic rat lens and serum following cataract formation. We used lenses from male Wistar rats ages six weeks for the determination of Vit. E and its analogues. Male Wistar rats aged five weeks were made diabetic by a single i.p. 50 mg/kg of streptozotocin (STZ). Diabetic and control animals were killed at four days, and one, two and four weeks after injection. Although Vit. E was present in rat lens, its analogues except for .alpha.-tocopherol were not detected in the lens. The formation and development of cataract in the STZ-treated rats were observed with a photoslit lamp. No cataract could be detected one week after injection, but some vacuoles were observed in the cortical equator at two weeks and also some large, confluent vacuoles at four weeks. Lens weight and its protein content in the STZ-treated rats had decreased at four weeks after injection, while lenticular glucose content markedly increased each week after STZ injection. Vit. E level in the lens of the STZ-treated rats significantly decreased from one week after injection, and the reduction continued over the experimental period. In contrast, serum Vit. E level increased at two and four weeks after STZ injection. Lenticular lipid peroxide level in the STZ-treated rats had significantly increased at four days after injection, but thereafter remained the same in diabetic and control animals. In contrast, serum lipid peroxidase level increased continually after STZ treatment. In conclusion, we proved that Vit. E is present in rat lens and that the Vit. E is mainly .alpha.-tocopherol. In diabetic cataract formation, the reduction of Vit. E, especially .alpha.-tocopherol immediately after the increase of lipid peroxide in lens in which cataract is not yet detectable seems to be one of the causative factors.

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Accession: 006297432

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PMID: 3706077

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