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dc.contributor.authorLee, Hannah Y.en
dc.date.accessioned2010-05-20T00:07:23Z
dc.date.issued2006en
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/10182/1897
dc.description.abstractThe absolute clarity of the lens of the eye is vital in the visual system. The unique structural and physiological properties of the lens are tightly integrated with highly ordered protein content to allow the lens to remain transparent. Consequently, any alteration or disturbance of these highly ordered proteins can affect the optical properties of the lens. In humans, cataracts are the major cause of blindness, yet the exact aetiology of cataract formation (cataractogenesis) is not fully understood. The purpose of the current research was to investigate whether deregulation of the Ca²⁺-dependent enzyme, calpains, following changes in lens Ca²⁺ homeostasis, is a key mechanism leading to undesired cleavage of a number of proteins that are linked with maintaining lens transparency and contributing to cataractogenesis. An ovine lens culture (in vitro) system and the heritable ovine cataract (in vivo) model were used to test the research hypothesis. The Ca²⁺ ionophore, ionomycin, was used to induce a Ca²⁺ overload and in vitro opacification during lens culture. Opacity in the lens was graded by a computer image analysis program. Protein profile (SDS-PAGE, 2-DE and Western detection), calpain activity (casein zymography), lens structure (microscopic view) and cytotoxicity level (LDH leakage assay) were analysed in Ca²⁺-induced opaque lenses. The involvement of calpain during opacification was further examined by applying synthetic exogenous calpain inhibitors to the in vitro system. Two novel exogenous calpain inhibitors were also assessed for their therapeutic potential in preventing the progression of cataracts in the in vivo cataract model by topical administration of the inhibitor direct to the sheep's eye over a 11 week period. HPLC was used to detect the penetration of these compounds into ocular tissues. Sustained Ca²⁺ influx into cultured lenses caused dense opacification. The opacity was characterised by formation of a turbid fraction and cell death in the outer cortex of the ovine lens. There was increased calpain autolysis associated with the progress of opacification, indicating increased calpain activity. Major degradation of the cytoskeletal proteins, spectrin and vimentin, was observed whilst there was limited degradation of the lens structural soluble proteins, crystallins, in response to a Ca²⁺ flux. Lens proteins were protected from degradation by adding synthetic calpain inhibitors to the culture medium. Topical administration of novel anti-calpain molecules failed to retard the progression of cataractogenesis in the ovine inherited cataract model. Further investigation of drug penetration showed that efficacy of inhibitory compounds was limited by permeability of these molecules across the cornea and the ability of the molecules to reach and penetrate into the lens. The ovine lens Ca²⁺-induced opacification (OLCO) model in this thesis has provided a model to understand the role of Ca²⁺ homeostasis in lens transparency. With sustained intracellular Ca²⁺ level, the degradation of cytoskeletal elements is highly correlated with calpain activity. Cataractogenesis is the pathological response to the loss of lens Ca²⁺ homeostasis in this model. The current results support the hypothesis that the deregulation of calpain activity is a trigger for a series of cascading events, leading to death of the cells in the lens.en
dc.format.extent1-163en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherLincoln Universityen
dc.subjectcataractogenesisen
dc.subjectproteolysisen
dc.subjectcalpainen
dc.subjectcytoskeletal proteinsen
dc.subjectcrystallinsen
dc.subjectcalpain inhibitorsen
dc.subjectovine lensen
dc.subjectculture systemen
dc.subjectOLCO modelen
dc.subjectCa²⁺ homeostasisen
dc.subjectcell deathen
dc.subjectinheritable ovine cataract modelen
dc.subjectcataracten
dc.titleCalcium homeostasis in lens transparency and the involvement of calpains in cataracten
dc.typeThesis
thesis.degree.grantorLincoln Universityen
thesis.degree.levelDoctoralen
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophyen
lu.contributor.unitLincoln Universityen
lu.contributor.unitFaculty of Agriculture and Life Sciencesen
lu.contributor.unitDepartment of Wine, Food and Molecular Biosciencesen
pubs.organisational-group/LU
pubs.organisational-group/LU/Agriculture and Life Sciences
pubs.organisational-group/LU/Agriculture and Life Sciences/WFMB
pubs.publication-statusPublisheden
dc.publisher.placeChristchurchen


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