In this study we have sought to identify whether cystine uptake mechanisms previously identified in the rat lens are also found in the human lens. Using a combination of reverse transcriptase PCR, Western blotting and immunohistochemistry, we show that the light chain subunit of the cystine/glutamate exchanger (XC-), xCT, and members of the glutamate transporter family (XAG) which include the Excitatory Amino Acid Transporter 4 (EAAT4) and the Alanine Serine Cysteine Transporter 2 (ASCT2) are all present at the transcript and protein level in human lenses. We demonstrate that in young lenses xCT, EAAT4 and ASCT2 are expressed in all regions indicating that a potential cystine uptake pathway similar to that found in the rat might also exist in human lenses. However, with increasing age, the immunolabeling for all transporters decreases, with no xCT labelling detected in the centre of old donor lenses. Our results show that XC- and EAAT4/ASCT2 may work together to mediate cystine uptake in the lens core of young human lenses. This suggests that the lens contains uptake mechanisms that are capable of accumulating cystine/cysteine in the lens centre where cysteine can be used as an antioxidant or cystine utilised as a source for protein-S-S-cysteine (PSSC) formation to buffer against oxidative stress. With increasing age, transporters in the lens core undergo age dependent post translational modifications. However, despite processing of these transporters with age, our results indicate that this cystine uptake pathway could account for the increased PSSC levels previously observed in the nucleus of older human lenses.