In vitro Culture of Amphibian Lenses


BECAUSE the lens is an organ which lacks both blood and nerve supplies it has long been felt that it could be cultured with relative ease. Consequently, many attempts have been made in this direction, primarily with material of mammalian origin. Much of this work is reviewed by Schwartz1 and Bito2. Harding, Rothstein and Newman3 have demonstrated that the epithelial cells of rabbit lenses maintained in systems perfused with combinations of various tissue culture media are caused to undergo DNA synthesis and cell division at varying periods of time following isolation, the specific interval depending on the composition of the perfusate. This ‘activation’ of DNA synthesis is of interest inasmuch as large numbers of cells are synchronized in a stage of the nuclear cycle the characteristics of which one would like to be able to elucidate. The fact that the activation is occurring in vitro naturally makes the whole system much more amenable to biochemical dissection than would ordinarily be the case.

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ROTHSTEIN, H., LAUDER, J. & WEINSIEDER, A. In vitro Culture of Amphibian Lenses. Nature 206, 1267–1269 (1965).

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