Caveolin-1 Expression in Lens Epithelial Cells of Cataract Patients With Diabetes Mellitus
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the expression of caveolin-1(a structural protein located at the cellular membrane and plays a role as a scaffolding protein that regulates signaling molecules) associated with apoptosis in lens epithelial cells (LECs) of cataract patients with diabetic retinopathy.
This is a prospective, randomized study. All patients were classified into three groups according to presence of diabetes mellitus (DM) and degree of diabetic retinopathy. Of 60 patients, group I had no diabetes (20 patients), group II had diabetes without diabetic retinopathy (20 patients), and group III had diabetes with diabetic retinopathy (20 patients). After obtaining anterior lens capsules from patients during cataract surgery, immunofluorescence staining was performed for caveolin-1 and Fas. Confocal microscopy was used to visually confirm and analyze by expression scoring. For further analysis, DM duration and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels were also recorded.
Group III had the lowest caveolin-1 expression and the highest Fas expression, followed by group II and group I (p < 0.001, p < 0.001, respectively). Longer duration DM and higher HbA1c levels were associated with a lower percentage of caveolin-1 positive cells. Conversely, longer duration DM and higher HbA1c levels were associated with a higher percentage of Fas positive cells. All results were statistically significant (p < 0.001).
Our findings suggest that caveolin-1 expression is associated with apoptosis of LECs in patients with diabetes cataracts.