Raman spectroscopic evaluation of aging and long-wave UV exposure in the guinea pig lens: a possible model for human aging

Exp Eye Res. 1988 Feb;46(2):249-58. doi: 10.1016/s0014-4835(88)80082-4.


The laser Raman optical dissection technique makes it possible to study individual points of minute volumes (2 X 10(-3) microliter) in the intact living lens in vitro. This technique was used to measure the sulfhydryl and disulfide content of 21 distinct points along the visual axis of the guinea-pig lens after aging and long-wave ultraviolet exposure (9-month duration in vivo). To facilitate comparison between different lenses, data was compiled as the intensity ratio of sulfhydryl (2580 cm-1) to a protein reference signal (2731 cm-1) or disulfide (508 cm-1) to phenylalanine (622 cm-1). These 21 ratios for each experiment were plotted as a function of the distance of the point from the nuclear center of the lens to give a visual axis profile. From these profiles we have found that the loss of sulfhydryl can be accelerated in the guinea-pig lens by in vivo ultraviolet exposure (353 nm peak from an incoherent source) for nine months. There is also a subsequent uniform increase in the disulfide content across the visual axis after UV exposure suggesting a direct sulfhydryl to disulfide conversion in the guinea-pig lens.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Disulfides / analysis
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Lens, Crystalline / analysis
  • Lens, Crystalline / radiation effects*
  • Phenylalanine / analysis
  • Protein Conformation
  • Spectrum Analysis, Raman
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds / analysis
  • Tryptophan / analysis
  • Tyrosine / analysis
  • Ultraviolet Rays


  • Disulfides
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds
  • Tyrosine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Tryptophan