Immunohistochemical Studies of Lens Crystallins in the Dysgenetic Lens (Dyl) Mutant Mice

Exp Eye Res. 1984 Mar;38(3):305-11. doi: 10.1016/0014-4835(84)90168-4.


The lens in the dyl mutant mice shows a persistent lens-ectodermal connection as well as degeneration and extrusion of lens materials after the initial differentiation of the fibres. Immunohistochemical investigation of the ontogeny of the lens crystallins in this developing mutant lens has been carried out using the indirect immunofluorescence staining method with antiserum to adult mouse lens total soluble proteins. The results have been compared with those for coisogenic normal lens used as a control. In both, the first positive reaction was detectable at identical stages of lens development. A rapid increase in the intensity of fluorescence, most marked in the elongating fibre progressing through the equatorial region to the epithelium, was recorded in the mutant as well as in the normal lens. However, the stalk leading to the lens epithelium did not show any reaction. Appearance of vacuoles in the lens nucleus and cortex marked the beginning of degeneration of fibres which otherwise showed strong fluorescence. This was followed by extrusion of lens crystallin materials through the stalk. As a result, the lens became increasingly reduced and malformed but the surviving cells making up the vestigeal lens in the adult showed positive immunofluorescence. The results demonstrate that despite a failure of lens-ectoderm separation in the mutant mice, the ontogeny of the lens crystallins and differentiation of the lens up to a certain stage of development follow an apparently normal course before the commencement of cataractous degeneration.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Crystallins / analysis*
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Lens, Crystalline / abnormalities*
  • Lens, Crystalline / analysis
  • Lens, Crystalline / embryology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • Mutation


  • Crystallins