M.Sc Thesis

M.Sc StudentAmir-Sharon Naomi
SubjectAnalysis of Thermal Damage to the Eye Lens in Organ Culture
System and Application to Environmental Damage
of High Temperature in the Workplace
DepartmentDepartment of Medicine
Supervisors PROF. Ahuva Dovrat


In the present study, we defined the lens temperature in the glass and steel industries and compared them to the temperature to which the lenses are subjected in the case of bakery workers. Faced by the fact that bakery workers were in fact exposed to higher temperatures that actually reached their lenses, we exposed bovine lenses to bakery temperature conditions in order to find out whether high ambient temperatures may cause lenticular opacification.

Bovine lenses were kept in an organ culture. Study groups were exposed to different temperatures during fourteen days period. Lens transparency, histochemistry, enzymatic activity and magnified inverted photography were compared between study and control groups.

Decreased lenticular transparency and enzymatic activity along with structural changes were observed in lenses exposed to 6 hours of 39.5°C during 8 cosecutive days, and during 4 consecutive days. These changes were also noticed during 4 hours of 39.5°C during 8 cosecutive days, and during 4 consecutive days. The lenticular damage was significant also after a short period of high temperature exposure: a 2 hour exposure during 3 cosecutive days, and a 1 hour exposurre once, but these short term exposure damages seemed to be corrected by the cultured lenses.

High temperature load has a toxic effect on bovine lenses in organ culture. Our results indicate that heat induced lenticular damage is a cumulative process depending on the lenghth and frequencies of exposure.

Cautious extrapolation of the presented results may point toward the use of protective eyewear in bakeries as means cataract prevention.