Degenerated lens epithelial cells in rabbit and human eyes after intraocular lens implantation

J Cataract Refract Surg. 1998 Oct;24(10):1396-8. doi: 10.1016/s0886-3350(98)80236-8.


Purpose: To evaluate the role of lens epithelial cells (LECs) in posterior capsule opacification.

Setting: Departments of Ophthalmology and Pathology, Wakayama Medical College, Department of Anatomy, Kansai Shinkyu College, and Department of Ophthalmology, Kobe Kaisei Hospital, Japan.

Methods: We examined the presence of degenerated LECs on the capsules of the eyes of rabbits and a patient after intraocular lens (IOL) implantation. Phacoextraction of a crystalline lens and IOL implantation were done in 5 albino rabbits under general anesthesia. The animals were killed after 2 months. Lens capsules were removed and fixed. During vitreous surgery, a lens capsule with an IOL was removed from a patient. Ultrathin sections of specimens were studied by transmission electron microscopy.

Results: Presumed LECs proliferated between the posterior capsule and the IOL in association with collagenous matrix. Debris from the degenerated cells and destroyed intracellular organelles was also seen.

Conclusion: Lens epithelial cells proliferating on the posterior capsule cannot survive indefinitely.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Cataract / etiology
  • Cataract / pathology*
  • Cell Division
  • Epithelial Cells / ultrastructure*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lens Capsule, Crystalline / ultrastructure*
  • Lens Implantation, Intraocular / adverse effects*
  • Phacoemulsification
  • Rabbits