Expression of CD18, CD49b, CD49c and CD49e on lens anterior capsules in human cataracts

Eye (Lond). 2003 May;17(4):473-7. doi: 10.1038/sj.eye.6700380.


Purpose: To examine the lens epithelial cells obtained from the anterior lens capsules removed during cataract surgery and detect various subclasses of the cell surface adhesion molecules known as integrins.

Methods: The circular sections of anterior capsules with attached lens epithelial cells (LECs) were obtained during cataract surgery from 28 patients. The lens capsules were immunohistochemically stained.

Results: CD49b CD49c, CD49e, and CD18 were detected in varying degrees in specimens obtained from human cataractous lenses. The positive percentages were 33, 75, 33, and 20%, respectively. The most striking feature was the increasing staining profiles towards the edges of the capsules (away from the central part of the lens capsules) for CD49c, suggesting that the LECs showed higher immunoreactivity for this antibody. The immunoreactivity for CD49b and CD49e was weaker. This was absent for CD18 in the central part of the lens capsules.

Conclusion: The positive expression of antibodies suggests that specific integrin subunits were expressed in LECs of human cataracts. These results suggest that lens epithelial cells expressing CD49b, CD49c, CD49e, and CD18 might be precursors in the process of anterior lens epithelial cell (A cell) adhesion, and hence play a role in anterior capsule opacification or in subsequent migration and a possible role in posterior capsule opacification.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • CD18 Antigens / metabolism*
  • Cataract / metabolism*
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Integrin alpha Chains / metabolism*
  • Integrin alpha2 / metabolism
  • Integrin alpha3 / metabolism
  • Integrin alpha5 / metabolism
  • Lens Capsule, Crystalline / metabolism*
  • Male


  • CD18 Antigens
  • Integrin alpha Chains
  • Integrin alpha2
  • Integrin alpha3
  • Integrin alpha5