Dimensions, volumes and protein contents were measured for bovine lenses with wet weights ranging from 0.17-3.07 g (2 months gestation to 19 years post-natal). All increase in a non-linear fashion. The lens becomes flatter with age due to a more rapid increase in the equatorial plane, but the ratio of anterior to posterior sagittal distances remains constant (1.19). The radius of curvature increases from 4.9 to 15 for the anterior surface and from 4.4 to 13 for the posterior. Protein content increases more rapidly than volume resulting in an increased average protein concentration from around 18% in the early prenatal lens to nearly 50% in the 19 year old. Total protein content (TPC) was found to be related to wet weight (We) according to the equation, TPC = 0.3We1.33. It is suggested that TPC is a better parameter for describing growth than wet weight or age. The refractive index, in the equatorial plane, increases towards the centre, from 1.38 at the edge of the lens. The maximum index, in the centre, increases with lens size up to 1.474 in the largest lens studied. This corresponds to a protein concentration of 70%. In all lenses, refractive index and protein concentration gradients were superimposable when plotted from the outside towards the centre. The optical performance of the lenses was assessed by measuring the back focal length which increases gradually from 24 to 51.5 mm over the 0.17 to 3.07 g size range. This was attributed to the increased radii of curvature.
|BIOCHIMICA ET BIOPHYSICA ACTA
|Published (in print/issue) - Jun 1992