Specific radioimmunoassays were used to measure the concentration of α- and γ-crystallins in human aqueous humor. It was demonstrated that these crystallins are normally present in aqueous humor from healthy eyes. The crystallin concentration did not seem to increase with age. The normal upper limit for the α-crystallin concentration was found to be 10 ng/ml and for the γ-crystallin concentration 60 ng/ml. In the aqueous humor of eyes with cortical cataract the concentration of both crystallins was increased. With nuclear cataracts the α-crystallin concentration was increased while the γ-crystallin concentration was decreased. Experiments in rabbits showed that the crystallins in the aqueous humor left the anterior chamber at the same rate as the aqueous bulk flow. The demonstration of lens crystallins in the aqueous humor is compatible with the hypothesis that they leak from the lens. © 1979.
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