Investigations were carried out to clarify the role of autoimmune phenomena in the pathogenesis of cataract in the adult human lens. Studies were carried out to determine the presence of serum antibodies to lens protein in patients with senile cataract, in patients with diabetes mellitus with and without cataract, and in healthy adult controls using the interfacial test and the gel-diffusion technique. Non-specific antibodies were removed by adsorption of sera with homogenized rat liver. A high proportion of healthy adults was found to have anti-lens protein antibodies (44.4% by the gel-diffusion method). In contrast, patients with cataract and diabetic patients with no cataract demonstrated double this incidence (82% and 80%), while all diabetic patients with cataract showed the presence of antibodies (P = 0.0002). The possible causes for the development of lens antibodies in normal healthy humans are discussed. Also, the causes for the higher incidence of lens antibodies in patients with cataract and in diabetic subjects with no clinical evidence of cataract are considered in relation to cataract formation. Homogenates of cataractous lenses when investigated revealed the presence of both IgG and IgM immunoglobulins, the forme...Continue Reading
Autoimmune diseases occur as a result of an attack by the immune system on the body’s own tissues resulting in damage and dysfunction. There are different types of autoimmune diseases, in which there is a complex and unknown interaction between genetics and the environment. Discover the latest research on autoimmune diseases here.