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Cataracts
Effect of pretreatment of germanium-132 on Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase and galactose cataracts. Curr Eye Res. 1997 Aug;16(8):832-7.

Unakar NJ, Tsui J, Johnson M.

Department of Biological Sciences, Oakland University, Rochester, MI, USA.

PURPOSE: Recently, we reported that topical administration of 2-carboxyethyl germanium sesquioxide (Ge-132) concurrently with 50% galactose feeding delayed the establishment of mature cataracts and reduced advance glycation product. This study was to determine the effect of pretreatment of Ge-132 on galactose associated morphological changes and Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase activity. METHODS: Young Sprague Dawley rats received topical eye drops four times a day of either saline or Ge-132 seven days prior to the 50% galactose diet and during galactose feeding. At desired intervals the lenses were extracted, photographed and processed for either light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy or the determination of Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase activity. RESULTS: In Ge-132 pretreated lenses as compared to saline pretreated lenses the following results were observed: (a) the galactose-induced morphological alterations in the majority of lenses were delayed and (b) Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase activity was protected. CONCLUSIONS: Our previous and current studies show that in addition to osmotic stress post-translational protein modification, such as glycation, including enzymes may play a role in initiating changes that lead to cataract development. The inhibition of protein glycation by antiglycating compounds, such as Ge-132, delays sugar cataract formation. Currently, we are investigating the status of protein glycation and advanced glycation end products following pretreatment with Ge-132 and the role of Ge-132 on the activities of enzymes such as aldose reductase and Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=
9255513&query_hl=2&itool=pubmed_DocSum

Cataracts
Effect of germanium-132 on galactose cataracts and glycation in rats. Exp Eye Res. 1995 Aug;61(2):155-64.

Unakar NJ, Johnson M, Tsui J, Cherian M, Abraham EC.

Department of Biological Sciences, Oakland University, Rochester, MI 48309-4401, USA.

Germanium compounds have been shown to be effective in preventing the formation of advanced glycation end-products and for reversible solubilization of glycated proteins. As protein glycation has been proposed to play a role in lens opacification, we initiated studies to evaluate the effects of 2-carboxyethyl germanium sesquioxide (germanium compound 132 or Ge-132) on galactose-induced cataractogenesis. For this study young Sprague-Dawley rats were fed a 50% galactose diet. One group of rats received topical saline and another group was administered Ge-132 in saline four times a day. The lenses were periodically examined with an ophthalmoscope and at desired intervals processed for light and scanning electron microscopy. Our observations, beginning at 3 days and continuing to 21 days of galactose feeding, exhibited the characteristic galactose-induced morphological alterations, which include the formation of vacuoles, cysts, membrane disruption and swelling of fibers and epithelial cells as well as disorganization of the bow in lenses of rats in both groups. However, in the majority of rats administered Ge-132 these alterations were delayed as compared to the lenses of rats administered saline. Our findings show that, although the initiation, progression and pattern of lens opacification in rats receiving saline and Ge-132 were similar, in the majority of lenses the progression and establishment of mature cataracts in the Ge-132 group of rats were delayed. Analysis of the water-soluble and water-insoluble lens-protein fractions for glycated proteins showed increased levels of the Amadori products and advanced glycation related fluorescent products in galactosemic rats treated with saline eye drops. In rats receiving the topical Ge-132 treatment the levels of these glycation products were substantially reduced to levels lower than control values. Prevention of glycation seems to be a mechanism by which cataract progression is delayed.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=
7556479&query_hl=2&itool=pubmed_DocSum

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