Lens ion transport: From basic concepts to regulation of Na,K-ATPase activity

Nicholas A. Delamere, Shigeo Tamiya

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


In the late 1960s, studies by George Duncan explained many of the basic principles that underlie lens ion homeostasis. The experiments pointed to a permeability barrier close to the surface of the lens and illustrated the requirement for continuous Na,K-ATPase-mediated active sodium extrusion. Without active sodium extrusion, lens sodium and calcium content increases resulting in lens swelling and deterioration of transparency. Later, Duncan's laboratory discovered functional muscarinic and purinergic receptors at the surface of the lens. Recent studies using intact lens suggest purinergic receptors might be involved in short-term regulation of Na,K-ATPase in the epithelium. Purinergic receptor agonists ATP and UTP selectively activate certain Src family tyrosine kinases and stimulate Na,K-ATPase activity. This might represent part of a control mechanism capable of adjusting, perhaps fine tuning, lens ion transport machinery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-143
Number of pages4
JournalExperimental eye research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2 2009


  • Na,K-ATPase
  • ion transport
  • lens epithelium
  • purinergic receptor
  • tyrosine kinase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Lens ion transport: From basic concepts to regulation of Na,K-ATPase activity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this