Sphingolipid distribution changes with age in the human lens

Deeley, J. M., Hankin, J. A., Friedrich, M. G., Murphy, R. C., Truscott, R. J. W., Mitchell, T. W., & Blanksby, Stephen J. (2010) Sphingolipid distribution changes with age in the human lens. Journal of Lipid Research, 51(9), pp. 2753-2760.

View at publisher (open access)


The formation of an internal barrier to the diffusion of small molecules in the lens during middle age is hypothesized to be a key event in the development of age-related nuclear (ARN) cataract. Changes in membrane lipids with age may be responsible. In this study, we investigated the effect of age on the distribution of sphingomyelins, the most abundant lens phospholipids. Human lens sections were initially analyzed by MALDI mass spectrometry imaging. A distinct annular distribution of the dihydrosphingomyelin, DHSM (d18:0/16:0), in the barrier region was observed in 64- and 70-year-old lenses but not in a 23-year-old lens. An increase in the dihydroceramide, DHCer (d18:0/16:0), in the lens nucleus was also observed in the older lenses. These findings were supported by ESI mass spectrometry analysis of lipid extracts from lenses dissected into outer, barrier, and nuclear regions. A subsequent analysis of 18 lenses ages 20-72 years revealed that sphingomyelin levels increased with age in the barrier region until reaching a plateau at approximately 40 years of age. Such changes in lipid composition will have a significant impact on the physical properties of the fiber cell membranes and may be associated with the formation of a barrier.-Deeley, J. M., J. A. Hankin, M. G. Friedrich, R. C. Murphy, R. J. W. Truscott, T. W. Mitchell, and S. J. Blanksby. Sphingolipid distribution changes with age in the human lens. J. Lipid Res. 2010. 51: 2753-2760.

Impact and interest:

37 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™
35 citations in Web of Science®

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 71930
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: cataract, MALDI imaging, sphingomyelin, dihydrosphingomyelin, phospholipid, ceramide, dihydroceramide, lipidomics, tandem mass-spectrometry, human crystalline lens, nuclear cataract, glutathione-reductase, protein, growth, sphingomyelin, oxidation, membranes, water
DOI: 10.1194/jlr.M007716
ISSN: 1539-7262 (online) 0022-2275 (print)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Chemistry, Physics & Mechanical Engineering
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
  • ACS/LP0989883
Copyright Owner: Copyright © 2010 American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
Deposited On: 26 May 2014 02:10
Last Modified: 26 May 2014 02:10

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page