AIMS/BACKGROUND--Residual lens epithelial cells (LECs) undergo fibrous proliferation after cataract surgery, resulting in capsular fibrosis. The purpose of this study was to determine the types of collagen produced in cultured LECs derived from human cataract LECs. METHODS--A circular section of the anterior capsule, about 5 mm in diameter, with LECs attached was obtained by anterior capsulotomy during cataract surgery and cultured directly without dispersion of the cells in a well, on the bottom of which a disc-shaped, thin plate of poly(methyl methacrylate) had been placed. At 5 to 6 weeks of culture, the proliferated cells of the culture were stained immunohistochemically with antibodies against human collagens I-VI by the avidin-biotin-peroxidase complex method. RESULTS--Collagens I, IV, V, and VI were positive in the cultured cells. Types IV and V were strongly present in almost all the cells whereas types I and VI were only observed in a few cells. Collagens II and III were negative. CONCLUSIONS--Since the lens capsule is known to be comprised of collagen IV, collagens I, V, and VI seem to be produced newly in culture. The capsular fibrosis seen after cataract surgery in vivo as a wound healing process of the lens capsule, may contain these types of collagens. The present culture model is useful for studying secondary cataract formation.
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