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Bo Li, Ji-Youn Kim, Renita M. Martis, Paul J. Donaldson, Julie C. Lim; Characterisation of Glutathione Export from Human Donor Lenses. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2020;9(8):37. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.9.8.37.
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To investigate whether human donor lenses are capable of exporting reduced glutathione.
Human lenses of varying ages were cultured in artificial aqueous humor for 1 hour under hypoxic conditions to mimic the physiologic environment and reduced glutathione (GSH) and oxidized glutathione (GSSG) levels measured in the media and in the lens.
Human donor lenses released both GSH and GSSG into the media. Donor lenses cultured in the presence of acivicin, a γ-glutamyltranspeptidase inhibitor, exhibited a significant increase in GSSG levels (P < 0.05), indicating that GSSG undergoes degradation into its constituent amino acids. Screening of GSH/GSSG efflux transporters revealed Mrp1, Mrp4, and Mrp5 to be present at the transcript level, but only Mrp5 was expressed at the protein level. Blocking Mrp5 function with the Mrp inhibitor MK571 led to a significant decrease in GSSG efflux (P < 0.05), indicating that Mrp5 is likely to be involved in mediating GSSG efflux. Measurements of efflux from the anterior and posterior surface of the lens revealed that GSH and GSSG efflux occurs at both surfaces but predominantly at the anterior surface.
Human lenses export GSH and GSSG into the surrounding ocular humors, which can be recycled by the lens to maintain intracellular GSH homeostasis or used by neighboring tissues to maintain GSH levels.
Early removal of a clear lens, as occurs to treat myopia and presbyopia, would eliminate this GSH reservoir and reduce the supply of GSH to other tissues, which, over time, may have clinical implications for the progression of other ocular diseases associated with oxidative stress.
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