Oxidative stress is implicated in the pathogenesis of diabetic cataract. Copper, known to be a pro-oxidant and vitamin C, an antioxidant, and have far reaching implications in pathogenesis and therapeutic approach to cataract. This study is aimed at comparing the lipid peroxidation, copper and vitamin C levels in diabetic cataract and senile cataract patients.
Methods: In this hospital-based study, cataracts of grade I nuclear stenosis and above were included. Study subjects were forty eight patients with senile cataract and twenty six patients with diabetic cataract. In serum and lens homogenate, levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), the marker of lipid peroxidation, copper and vitamin C were assayed with standard spectrophotometric methods.
Results: Levels of copper, MDA were significantly higher, and vitamin C level was significantly lower in the lens of diabetic cataract patients when compared to senile cataract patients. The levels of MDA and copper in serum did not differ significantly between the two groups. Serum vitamin C was significantly lower in diabetic cataract group when compared to senile cataract patients.
Conclusions: We observed oxidative stress in the lens of diabetic cataract patients indicated by increased lipid peroxidation and copper, and decreased vitamin C. Future studies with larger sample size and involving antioxidant treatment of cataract are required.