Photodynamics of Cataract: An Update on Endogenous Chromophores and Antioxidants


  • Posted on the website on 28 December 2004

*To whom correspondence should be addressed: L. V. Prasad Institute, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad 500 o34, Indaia. Fax: +91-40-2354 8271: e-mail:


Cataract of the eye lens is characterized by (1) Progressive opacification or los of transparency; (2) accumulation of molecules that absorb in the UV -visible range of the spectrum; and (3) formation of fluid-filled vacuoles, particularly in diabetics when sugar levels in teh lens are high. Of the various causative factors for cataract, light is an important one. Because the level of light below 320 nm reaching the lens is quite low, photodynamic effects of endogenous compounds absorbing in the UV-A-visible region become important in this connection. In this uupdate we summarize a list of accumulant chrompphores tha have been identified in aging and cataract human lenses and theilr roles as potential sensitizers, antioxidants or as benign filters. Because such photodynamic cataractogenesis is oxidative in nature, we also cite examples where administratiion of antioxidants could help delay cataract progression.