Cholesterol content of focal opacities and multilamellar bodies in the human lens: filipin cytochemistry and freeze fracture

Ophthalmic Res. 2000 Nov-Dec;32(6):285-91. doi: 10.1159/000055627.


Adult human lenses with focal opacities were processed for normal as well as freeze fracture electron microscopy. Cholesterol was demonstrated using filipin cytochemistry. Filipin cytochemistry in combination with freeze fracture revealed that the amount of cholesterol in the normal fibre membranes was fully comparable with the amount of cholesterol in the deviating membranes of the focal opacities and the multilamellar bodies. As regards the cholesterol/phospholipid ratio, the deviating membranes have the same state of maturation as the surrounding normal lens fibre membranes, which implies that their synthesis is as highly coordinated as the synthesis of the normal lens fibre membranes.

MeSH terms

  • Cataract / metabolism*
  • Cataract / pathology
  • Cholesterol / metabolism*
  • Filipin / metabolism*
  • Freeze Fracturing
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Humans
  • Lens, Crystalline / metabolism*
  • Lens, Crystalline / ultrastructure
  • Middle Aged


  • Filipin
  • Cholesterol