Age-related cataract progression in five mouse models for anti-oxidant protection or hormonal influence

Exp Eye Res. 2005 Sep;81(3):276-85. doi: 10.1016/j.exer.2005.01.024.


Five mouse models with known alterations of resistance to oxidative damage were compared by slit lamp examination for the presence and degree of advancement of age-related cataract in young adult and old animals along with wild type controls. A group of young and old normal C57BL/6Jax mice were examined first to constitute a standard, and they were found to exhibit age-related cataract development. Following this, four models on the C57BL/6 background with imposed genetic alterations affecting anti-oxidant enzyme presence or activity, and one outbred model in which a deletion blocked the growth hormone/IGF-1 axis, were similarly examined. There was no evidence of foetal or juvenile cataract development in any of these models, and an age-related severity for lens opacities was shown between young adult and old mice in all groups. Model 1, mice null for the anti-oxidant gene glutathione peroxidase-1 (GPX1) had significantly advanced cataracts in older mice vs. same age controls. In mouse model 2 hemizygous knockout of SOD2 (MnSOD) did not affect age-related cataract development. In model 3 combining the GPX1 and SOD2 deficiencies in the same animal did not advance cataract development beyond that of the GPX1 null alone. In model 4 the addition of anti-oxidant protection in the lens by transfection of human catalase targeted only to the mitochondria resulted in a significant delay in cataract development. The 5th model, growth hormone receptor knockout (GHR-/-) mice, also demonstrated a significant reduction in age-related cataract development, as well as dwarfism. These findings, in general, support the oxidative theory of age-related cataract development. The exception, the partial deletion of SOD2 in the hemizygous KO model, probably did not represent a sufficiently severe deprivation of anti-oxidant protection to produce pathologic changes in the lens.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aging / pathology*
  • Aging / physiology
  • Animals
  • Catalase / genetics
  • Catalase / physiology
  • Cataract / genetics
  • Cataract / pathology
  • Cataract / physiopathology*
  • Cataract / prevention & control
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / genetics
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / physiology
  • Glutathione Peroxidase GPX1
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Receptors, Somatotropin / genetics
  • Receptors, Somatotropin / physiology
  • Superoxide Dismutase / genetics
  • Superoxide Dismutase / physiology
  • Transfection


  • Receptors, Somatotropin
  • Catalase
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • superoxide dismutase 2
  • Glutathione Peroxidase GPX1
  • Gpx1 protein, mouse