Modelling cortical cataractogenesis XX. In vitro effect of alpha-lipoic acid on glutathione concentrations in lens in model diabetic cataractogenesis.


Kilic F, Handelman GJ, Traber K, Tsang K , Packer L, Trevithick JR




Biochem Mol Biol Int


In previous studies stereospecific protection against lens opacity was consistent with specific reduction of R-alpha-lipoic acid(R-alpha- LA) in mitochondria of the vulnerable cells at the lens equator where the first globular degeneration is seen in glucose cataract. In this study two further possible explanations of this effect were investigated: (1) increased glucose uptake by the lens, leading to increased glycolysis and release of lactate into the incubation medium and/or (2) maintenance of glutathione levels by the R-alpha- LA. The data did not support 1, but was consistent with 2, after 24 hr incubation. The concentrations of glutathione in normal lenses or lenses incubated with R- or racemic alpha-LA were not significantly different, but the concentration of glutathione in lenses incubated with S-alpha-LA was significantly lower than the R-alpha-LA-incubated lenses.