Mitotic Activation around Wound Edges and Epithelialization Repair in UVB-Induced Capsular Cataracts

Zongbo Wei, Caili Hao, Ramkumar Srinivasagan, Hongli Wu, Jian Kang Chen, Xingjun Fan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: Ultraviolet B (UVB) has been well documented to induce capsular cataracts; however, the mechanism of the lens epithelial cell-mediated repair process after UVB irradiation is not fully understood. The purpose of this study was to better understand lens epithelial cell repair after UVB-induced epithelium damage. METHOD. C57BL/6J mice were irradiated by various doses of UVB. Lens morphology and lens capsule opacity were monitored by slit lamp, darkfield microscopy, and phase-contrast microscopy. Lens epithelial cell mitotic activation and cell apoptosis were measured by immunohistochemistry. Lens epithelial ultrastructure was analyzed by transmission electron microscopy. RESULTS. UVB irradiation above a dose of 2.87 kJ/m2 triggered lens epithelial cell apoptosis and subcapsular cataract formation, with a ring-shaped structure composed of multilayered epithelial cell clusters manifesting a dense ring-shaped capsular cataract. The epithelial cells immediately outside the edge of the ring-shaped aggregates transitioned to mitotically active cells and performed wound healing through the epithelialization process. However, repairs ceased when lens epithelial cells made direct contact, and scar-like tissue in the center of the anterior capsule remained even by 6 months after UVB irradiation. CONCLUSIONS. Our present study demonstrates that normally quiescent lens epithelial cells can be reactivated for epithelialization repair in response to UV-induced damage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number29
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number15
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Epithelialization
  • Lens epithelium
  • Lens opacity
  • UVB
  • Ultraviolet light

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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