Indian Journal of Ophthalmology

: 1981  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 331--333

Paper chromatographic analysis of aminoacids in human lenses

IM Shukla, V Bhatt, VA Shinde 
 Department of Ophthalmology, Pt. J.N.M. Medical College, Raipur, India

Correspondence Address:
I M Shukla
Department of Ophthalmology, Pt. J.N.M. Medical College, Raipur

How to cite this article:
Shukla I M, Bhatt V, Shinde V A. Paper chromatographic analysis of aminoacids in human lenses.Indian J Ophthalmol 1981;29:331-333

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Shukla I M, Bhatt V, Shinde V A. Paper chromatographic analysis of aminoacids in human lenses. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 1981 [cited 2021 Jan 20 ];29:331-333
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Full Text

In our previous study[1] on the estimation of aminoacids in aqueous humour in catarac­tus and normal eyes, it was found that amino­acids decreased as compared to normal. It was thought that this change may have a role in the genesis of cataract. Hence the present work was undertaken to study the aminoacid pattern in normal and cataractus lenses by paper chromatography.


Total twenty cases were studied including five normal, five immature, five mature and five hypermature lenses. The removed lenses were weighted and aminoacids extracted by the solvent extraction tecknique[2]. Both circular and ascending chromatography were done[2]. The dried chromatograms were stained with ninhydrine for all aminoacids and for histidine with pauly's sulphanilic acid reagent which is specific for it. After elution the colour density was measured by spectrocolorimeter. Some of the circular chromatograms stained with ninhydrine were subjected to densitometric evaluation and graphs were plotted.


On quantitative estimation the concentra­tion of all aminoacids was decreased in cata­ractus lenses [Figure 1]. This decrease was more pronounced from immature to hyper­mature lenses. However, the concentration of cystine, alanine and phenyl alanine in immature lenses exceeded that of normal len­ses, but this was followed by decrease in mature and hypermature lenses [Table 1]. The lowered concentration of cystine and ala­nine in mature and cystine, alanine and tyro­sine in hypermature lenses was statistically significant.

Densitometric evaluation involving all aminoacid bands in normal and cataractus lenses from circular chromatogram [Figure 2] also remarked low density of bands in catarac­tus lenses in comparison to normal [Figure 3].

As shown by Barber[3], the concentration of aminoacids decrease as the maturity progre­sses. This loss of aminoacids in later stages of cataract development may be either through the process of increase permeability of lens capsule or enhancement in the process of diffu­sion or by any other unknown mechanism. This loss of aminoacids is also accompanied by selective loss of the low molecular weight proteins, as confirmed by GEL filtration chromatography of soluble lens proteins in normal and cataractous lenses.[1]


The concentration of free aminoacids in cataractus lenses decreased as this cataractus changes progressed. The lowered concentra­tion appeared to be the effect and not the cause for cataract formation.


1Shukla, I.M. Billore, O.P. and Shinde, V.A. 1974, Proceedings of the All India Ophthalmological Society Vol. XXXI session 34 : 1974.
2Smith, I. 1969 Chromatographic and electro­phoretic techniques 3rd ed. William, Heinemann Medical Books, Ltd. London Vol. 1.
3Barber, C.B., 1968, Invest Ophthal. 7 : 564.