Date of Award

Fall 2007








Cataracts are a cloudiness of the lens within the eye which obstructs vision. They are found in many species including rats, dogs, and humans. Vision is hindered where this "cloudiness", made of water build up and broken crystalline, proteins take form. Oculvet is an eye medication, used by veterinarians, containing carnosine as its active ingredient. Topical application of carnosine is reported to be an effective treatment for the prevention and removal of pre-existing cataracts. For this experiment, Sprague- Dawley rats were anesthetized and exposed to ultraviolet radiation, UVB and UVC. They were divided into four groups (n = 32), three of which had cumulative exposures of 5,495 minutes (Group A), 8,810 minutes (Group B), and 13,250 minutes (Group C). The control group received no UV exposure. After UV treatment, each experimental rat had one drop (0.05ml) of Clear Eyes* brand eye drops mixed with 1% carnosine administered to the left eye. The right eye was treated with Clear Eyes® brand eye drops alone. After four weeks of daily treatment, the rats were sacrificed and the lenses of both eyes were removed. Extent of cataract formation in the lenses of the treated and untreated eyes were compared. We found that there were no significant difference between the treated and untreated groups after administering the carnosine solution. However, there was a significant difference found within the treated and untreated subgroups. For example, there was a difference found between the treated lenses of Group A and the treated lenses of Group C. From this experiment, we found that the amount of time that the lens of the eye is subjected to UV light is directly correlated with the extent of cataract formation. This experiment also shows that the active ingredient in Oculvet, carnosine, alone does not have a significant reversal effect on UV-light induced cataracts.


Honors Thesis

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Biology Commons