Ultraviolet light-induced pathology in the eye: associated changes in ocular aldehyde dehydrogenase and alcohol dehydrogenase activities

Cornea. 1993 May;12(3):241-8. doi: 10.1097/00003226-199305000-00010.


Adult male C57BL/6J inbred mice were subjected to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure (302-nm peak wavelength; average intensity 282 microW/cm2) for 1 h and monitored for ocular aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) and alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) activity changes over a period of 25 days. Dramatic reductions in activities were observed by 4-6 days postexposure, resulting in enzyme levels of 15-16% of control animals. Major decreases in corneal enzyme levels were predominantly responsible for these changes. Ocular morphology was observed throughout using a photoslit-lamp biomicroscope, with maximum corneal clouding occurring at days 4-6. These data support earlier proposals for major roles for these corneal enzymes in assisting the cornea in protecting the eye against UVR-induced tissue damage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Dehydrogenase / metabolism*
  • Aldehyde Dehydrogenase / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cataract / pathology
  • Cornea / enzymology
  • Cornea / radiation effects
  • Corneal Opacity / pathology
  • Eye / enzymology*
  • Eye / radiation effects*
  • Isoelectric Focusing
  • Lens, Crystalline / enzymology
  • Lens, Crystalline / radiation effects
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Retina / enzymology
  • Retina / radiation effects
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects*


  • Alcohol Dehydrogenase
  • Aldehyde Dehydrogenase