Doctoral Dissertations


"Cataract, the opacification of an eye lens, is a common pathological abnormality of the lens accounting for approximately 50% of all blindness. The only effective treatment currently available for a cataract is the surgical removal of the affected lens and replacement with an artificial lens for the restoration of vision. Although, cataract surgery is considered to be a very successful procedure in terms of visual outcome, the cost of surgery, need for trained personnel and surgeons, and postsurgical complications, limit the worldwide availability and accessibility of this procedure. Hence, alternative preventive and treatment procedures are worthy of investigation. The lens depends on a balanced redox state for maintaining its transparency, and a high content of glutathione (GSH) in the lens is believed to play a key role in doing so. Several studies have reported that oxidative stress plays an important role in the etiology of cataract development and, therefore, the present study has sought to evaluate the efficacy of a thiol antioxidant, (R) -N-acetylcysteine amide (NACA), in preventing/reversing cataracts. To investigate NACA's ability to provide therapeutic benefits for cataracts, three different experimental models were utilized. The first was an ex-vivo cataract model, where culturing the rat lenses in dexamethasone resulted in posterior cataracts. The second was an in vivo mouse model, where injection of acetaminophen caused cataracts. The third model was a rat in vivo model where injection of sodium selenite generated nuclear cataracts. Treatment with NACA in each model helped to decrease the severity of cataracts. In summary, the results from this study suggest that NACA can potentially be developed into a promising therapeutic option for prevention and reversal of cataract formation"--Abstract, page iii.


Ercal, Nuran

Committee Member(s)

Kapila, Shubhender
Reddy, Prakash
Woelk, Klaus
Mormile, Melanie R.



Degree Name

Ph. D. in Chemistry


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Fall 2015


xiv, 123 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographic references (pages 101-122).


© 2015 Sri Krishna Yasaswi Maddirala, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Cataract -- Prevention
Cataract -- Treatment
Antioxidants -- Therapeutic use

Thesis Number

T 10829

Electronic OCLC #