Journal of diabetes and its complications

Osmotic stress induced oxidative damage: possible mechanism of cataract formation in diabetes.

PMID 22609218


Chronic hyperglycemia causes increased level of reactive oxygen species which is thought to be involved in the pathogenesis of diabetes associated complications including cataract. In diabetic cataractous lens, over production of free radicals and decreased capacity of antioxidant defense system are the major contributors to oxidative damage by polyol pathway and advanced glycation end products. The current study focused on analysis of factors associated with osmotic imbalance and oxidative stress in aging and diabetic human cataractous lenses. We examined activities of polyol pathway enzymes, G6PD and glutathione system in lenses from subjects suffering from cataract due to aging and diabetes. We observed elevated activities of aldose reductase and sorbitol dehydrogenase while G6PD and glutathione system enzyme activities were found to be lower in cataractous subjects suffering from diabetes. The findings from the current study support the premise that osmotic imbalance, AGEs formation and oxidative stress contribute synergistically to the development of lens opacity in hyperglycemia.