We studied the process of lens regeneration in the rat following an extracapsular lens extraction preserving the anterior lens capsule and anterior lens epithelium. We assessed clinically the clarity of the newly regenerated lens, evaluated changes in the lens electrical currents following surgery and during the regeneration process and correlated these changes with findings on light microscopy. Protein analysis of the regenerated lens was also undertaken. Experiments were performed in 41 Sprague-Dawley rats, sacrificed at 0, 2, 4 and 8 weeks postoperatively. Our results showed that complete lens regeneration occurred 8 weeks postoperatively only if the anterior epithelium was preserved and the lens capsule was closed surgically. Lens electrical currents, altered following surgery, recovered in parallel with the process of regeneration of the lens. The newly regenerated lens was optically clear and biochemical analysis revealed a pattern of protein expression resembling that observed during lens development. In conclusion, complete lens regeneration occurs in the rat and it is possible that lens electrical signals, together with other cues, may play an important role in this process.
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Lois, N., Forrester, J., Reid, B., Song, B., Zhao, M., & McCaig, C. (2010). Electric currents and lens regeneration in the rat. Experimental Eye Research, 90(2), 316-323. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.exer.2009.11.007