Volume change of the ocular lens during accommodation.Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2007 Aug; 293(2):C797-804.AJ
During accommodation, mammalian lenses change shape from a rounder configuration (near focusing) to a flatter one (distance focusing). Thus the lens must have the capacity to change its volume, capsular surface area, or both. Because lens topology is similar to a torus, we developed an approach that allows volume determination from the lens cross-sectional area (CSA). The CSA was obtained from photographs taken perpendicularly to the lenticular anterior-posterior (A-P) axis and computed with software. We calculated the volume of isolated bovine lenses in conditions simulating accommodation by forcing shape changes with a custom-built stretching device in which the ciliary body-zonulae-lens complex (CB-Z-L) was placed. Two measurements were taken (CSA and center of mass) to calculate volume. Mechanically stretching the CB-Z-L increased the equatorial length and decreased the A-P length, CSA, and lens volume. The control parameters were restored when the lenses were stretched and relaxed in an aqueous physiological solution, but not when submerged in oil, a condition with which fluid leaves the lens and does not reenter. This suggests that changes in lens CSA previously observed in humans could have resulted from fluid movement out of the lens. Thus accommodation may involve changes not only in capsular surface but also in volume. Furthermore, we calculated theoretical volume changes during accommodation in models of human lenses using published structural parameters. In conclusion, we suggest that impediments to fluid flow between the aquaporin-rich lens fibers and the lens surface could contribute to the aging-related loss of accommodative power.