Oxidative Stress in Lens

  • Sam Young Yoon
  • Eunbi Kim
  • Young Joo Shin
Part of the Oxidative Stress in Applied Basic Research and Clinical Practice book series (OXISTRESS)


Oxidative stress has been implicated in many pathophysiological events. A disturbance in the pro-oxidant and antioxidant balance leads to potential damage and corneal diseases. Oxidative stress has been reported to play an essential role in corneal normal physiology as well as corneal pathology. ROS are not only considered to be the damaging factors in various pathologies, but they also participate in a wide variety of physiological processes such as signaling transduction. It is clear that the lens has evolved a multitude of systems to defend against oxidative stress damage which collectively are required to maintain the transparent function of the lens and prevent cataract formation. The evidence presented here suggests that lens oxidative protective systems and oxidative repair systems are linked through their requirements for common reducing systems and that their actions to repair and or maintain common lens proteins and each other are concerted and mutually dependent. Multiple exogenous (UV-light, drugs, metals, and cigarette smoke) and endogenous (altered mitochondrial respiration, respiratory burst of phagocytes, viral infection) sources of oxidative stress result in the formation of multiple forms of ROS such as O2·, H2O2, and •OH. Two types of antioxidant systems (general and enzymatic detoxifiers) normally detoxify these ROS species to maintain lens homeostasis. Failure of these antioxidant defense and repair systems results in irreversible protein aggregation, loss of lens cell function, and ultimately cataract formation.


Cataract Oxidative stress Reactive oxygen species Defense and repair systems Antioxidants 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of OphthalmologyHallym University College of MedicineYoungdeungpo-guSouth Korea

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