Noninvasive measurements of pyridine nucleotide and flavoprotein in the lens

K. Tsubota, R. A. Laing, K. R. Kenyon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Abnormalities in glucose metabolism are thought to be among the main causes of cataract formation. The authors have made noninvasive biochemical measurements of the lens that provide information concerning glucose metabolism in the lens epithelium. The autofluorescence of reduced pyridine nucleotides (PN) and oxidized flavoproteins (Fp) within the rabbit lens were noninvasively measured as a function of depth using redox fluorometry. The peak of the autofluorescence at 440 nm (excited at 360 nm) and 540 nm (excited at 460 nm) were determined at the lens epithelium. When 8 mM sodium pentobarbital, a known inhibitor of mitochondrial respiration, was applied to the lens, the autofluorescence peak at 440 nm increased and that at 540 nm decreased. The 440 nm autofluorescence is thought to be from reduced pyridine nucleotides, whereas the 540 nm autofluorescence is from the oxidized flavoprotein. Blocking lens respiration with pentobarbital caused an increase in the PN/Fp ratio by a factor of 3 within 3.5 hr after pentobarbital application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)785-789
Number of pages5
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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