Clinical detection of precataractous lens protein changes using dynamic light scattering

Manuel B. Datiles, Rafat R. Ansari, Kwang I. Suh, Susan Vitale, George F. Reed, J. Samuel Zigler, Frederick L. Ferris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Objective: To use dynamic light scattering to clinically assess early precataractous lens protein changes. Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study in 380 eyes of 235 patients aged 7 to 86 years with Age-Related Eye Disease Study clinical nuclear lens opacity grades 0 to 3.8. A dynamic light-scattering device was used to assess α-crystallin, a molecular chaperone protein shown to bind other damaged lens proteins, preventing their aggregation. The outcome measure was the α-crystallin index, a measure of unbound α-crystallin in each lens. The association of the α-crystallin index with increasing nuclear opacity and aging was determined. Results: Therewasa significant decrease in the α-crystallin index associated with increasing nuclear lens opacity grades (P<.001). There were significant losses of α-crystallin even in clinically clear lenses associated with aging (P<.001). The standard error of measurement was 3%. Conclusions: Dynamic light scattering clinically detects α-crystallin protein loss even in clinically clear lenses. α-Crystallin index measurements may be useful in identifying patients at high risk for cataracts and as an outcome variable in clinical lens studies. Clinical Relevance: The α-crystallin index may be a useful measure of the protective α-crystallin molecular chaperone reserve present in a lens, analogous to creatinine clearance in estimating renal function reserve.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1687-1693
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of ophthalmology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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