Ex vivo canine lens capsular sac explants

M. G. Davidson, M. Wormstone, D. Morgan, R. Malakof, J. Allen, M. C. McGahan

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Lens capsular sac explants from human cadaver eyes were used to investigate posterior capsular opacification (PCO). The purpose of this study was to characterize a similar model using canine tissue and to determine whether transferrin (Tf), transforming growth factor β-2 (TGF-β2), and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) are secreted by lens epithelial cells (LEC) of these ex vivo sacs. Methods: The lens from canine eyes was removed by extracapsular cataract extraction, the lens sac dissected free, pinned to a petri dish, and cultured in either serum-supplemented or serum-free medium. Morphologic characteristics and growth rate to confluence on the posterior capsule were studied by phase-contrast microscopy. Vimentin, alpha smooth muscle actin, and panTGF-β expression by LEC were determined by immunohistochemistry. Tf, TGF-β2, and IGF-1 levels were measured by ELISA in the supernatant of sacs cultured in serum-free medium. Results: The mean time to confluence of LEC onto the posterior capsule was 5.4±1.1 days (n=22) and 14.7±3.7 days (n=14) for sacs in serum-supplemented and serum-free medium, respectively. Following development of confluence, explants displayed opacification and light scatter from cellular proliferation and capsular contraction. Confluent LEC expressed vimentin, alpha smooth muscle actin, and TGF-β2, and both Tf and TGF-β2 were secreted into the culture supernatant. Conclusion: Canine lens sac explants have characteristics virtually identical to those of human origin, and appear to be a useful alternative tissue source for this model when human cadaver eyes are unavailable. Tf and TGFβ-2, but not IGF-1, are secreted by LEC in explanted lens sacs and may influence the proliferation and metaplasia of LEC during the development of PCO.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)708-714
Number of pages7
JournalGraefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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