Author(s): Gerardi JG, Colitz CM, Dubielzig RR, Davidson MG. Immunohistochemical analysis of lens epithelial-derived membranes following cataract extraction in the dog. Vet Ophthalmol. 1999;2(3):163-168. PMID 11397259
The objective of the study was to characterize the morphologic and immunohistochemical features of lens epithelial-derived proliferative membranes from the anterior segment of canine globes. These features were correlated with those previously identified for diseases resulting from lens epithelial cell (LEC) proliferation including posterior capsular opacification, traumatic subcapsular cataract, and subcapsular plaques associated with hypermature cataracts. Sixteen canine globes were removed as a result of glaucoma or other complications following cataract extraction. Light microscopic and immunohistochemical analysis was performed on sections from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded globes. The tissues were stained with a variety of antibodies for cellular markers for LECs, growth factors or other cellular constituents relevant to cellular metaplasia and proliferation. The membranes were composed of monolayers or multilayers of spindle-shaped cells on the external surfaces of the anterior and posterior lens capsule, ciliary processes, iris leaflets, and iridocorneal angle, and they could be seen extending from an obvious monolayer of LEC within the capsular sac. Variably, scattered pigment cells, presumably of uveal origin, were concurrently present. Cellular components of the membranes stained positive for vimentin, transforming growth factor-beta, basic fibroblast growth factor, and smooth muscle actin. An amorphous eosinophilic extracellular matrix consisting predominately of collagen was associated with the membranes. Proliferative anterior segment membranes following cataract surgery were morphologically and immunohistochemically similar to cellular and matrix components of posterior capsular opacification and capsular plaques seen with hypermature cataracts, both of which result from metaplasia and proliferation of LEC. The presence of these LEC-derived membranes in association with secondary glaucoma suggests that exuberant proliferation of LEC outside the confines of the lens capsular sac may cause pathologic alterations in the eye following cataract surgery in the dog.