We studied the nonenzymatic glycosylation of lens epithelial basement membranes (LEBM) of senile cataractous lenses of both diabetic and nondiabetic patients. The human LEBMs were isolated from surgically removed senile cataracts and purified by osmotic lysis and detergent treatments. Glycosylation assay of LEBMs was done using the colorimetric method of Flückiger and Winterhalter. The glycosylation value ranged from 16.39 to 92.56 n mol/mg protein overall, with a mean of 63.54 ± 24.56 n mol/mg protein for the diabetic specimens and a mean of 29.97 ± 14.48 n mol/mg protein for the nondiabetic controls (P = 0.009). The study confirms our previous observation of in vivo glycosylation of the LEBM and further establishes that diabetic patients have a twofold increase in the amount of LEBM glycosylation when compared to their nondiabetic counterparts.
MATERIALS AND METHODS