pyruvate may prevent cataracts

Doug Skrecky (
Mon, 7 Jun 1999 03:27:35 -0700 (PDT)

Varma SD. Ramachandran S. Devamanoharan PS. Morris SM. Ali AH. Institution
University of Maryland at Baltimore, School of Medicine, Department of Ophthalmology 21201, USA.
Prevention of oxidative
damage to rat lens by pyruvate in vitro: possible attenuation in vivo.
Current Eye Research. 14(8):643-9, 1995 Aug. Abstract
Studies have been conducted to assess the possible preventive effect of pyruvate against lens protein oxidation and consequent denaturation and insolubilization. Rat lens organ culture system was used for these studies. The content of water insoluble proteins (urea soluble) increased if the lenses were cultured in medium containing hydrogen peroxide. Incorporation of pyruvate in the medium prevented such insolubilization. The insolubilization was associated primarily with loss of gamma crystallin fraction of the soluble proteins. PAGE analysis demonstrated that insolubilization is related to -S-S- bond formation which was preventable by pyruvate. Since pyruvate is a normal tissue metabolite the findings are considered pathophysiologically significant against cataract formation. This was apparent by the prevention of selenite cataract in vivo by intraperitoneal administration of pyruvate.