Maximum tolerable dose for avoidance of cataract after repeated exposure to ultraviolet radiation in rats

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The purpose of the present study was to determine the impact of inter-exposure interval between repeated equivalent exposures of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) on threshold accumulated dose for cataract development. Female Sprague–Dawley rats were randomly divided into 5 inter-exposure interval groups with 20 rats in each group. The inter-exposure intervals were 6 h, 1, 3, 9 and 30 days respectively. Each inter-exposure interval group was divided into 5 dose-subgroups. Only one eye of each rat was exposed to ultraviolet radiation (λmax = 300 nm). The total dose incident on the cornea, in each subgroup varied between 0 ∼ 10 kJ/m2. One week after the second exposure, the rats were sacrificed and both lenses were extracted. The intensity of forward light scattering was measured and macroscopic morphology was documented. Maximum tolerable dose (MTD) for each inter-exposure interval was estimated based on the experimentally determined dose-response function. The difference of intensity of light scattering between exposed and contralateral non-exposed lens decreased as a function of inter-exposure interval between the two equivalent exposures. The accumulated MTD2.3:16 was 5.3, 5.1, 5.4, 5.8, and 6.0 kJ/m2 UVR-B for the 6 h, 1, 3, 9 and 30 day inter-exposure interval between the two exposures, respectively. The shorter the inter-exposure interval between two subsequent exposures, the more damage. The time constant for repair of lens damage after in vivo exposure to close to threshold dose was estimated to be eight days and the fraction of repairable damage to be 20%. The accumulated threshold dose for damage after two repeated equivalent exposures to UVR-B increases as a function of inter-exposure interval up to at least 30 days inter-exposure interval.

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