Two groups of patients suffering from cataract were investigated by the lymphocyte stimulation test. One group was tested before and the other after cataract surgery. Human (total) lens crystallins and bovine alpha crystallin were used as the antigens. Lymphocytes of healthy persons showed practically no positive stimulation with either antigen. Of the patients tested before operation 38% reacted positively with lens crystallins and 15% with alpha crystallin. This difference in sensitisation suggests a leakage of lenticular antigens other than alpha crystallin out of the lens during cataract progression. Extracapsular lens extraction caused an increase in the number of patients reacting positively with lens crystallins and alpha crystallin as compared to patients not operated upon. Intracapsular lens extraction on the other hand resulted in less sensitisation to lens crystallins as compared to patients not operated upon.
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