" It has been reported that exposure affects lens transparency, alters cell proliferation and apoptosis, inhibits gap junctional intercellular communication, and induces genetic instability and stress responses in LEC. [Lens Epithelial Cells]"
As some examples; damage to LEC has found to be associated with the formation of cataracts with opacity in the lens cortex, and that the mechanism of action of the non-thermal (low power) induced cataracts are totally different than those of thermal energies:
" In contrast to the thermal effect, the non-thermal effect was particularly pronounced in the vicinity of the sutures."
Respect to apoptotic issues on LEC it has been found decreased cell viability, increased cell condensation, and inhibition of DNA synthesis and cell arrest at the G 0 /G 1 phase. In another experiment it was also found that
" .. In the 5 mW/cm2 microwave radiation group, large numbers of LECs were in the initial phase of apoptosis and, in the group exposed to 10 mW/cm2 microwave radiation, many LECs had become secondary necrotic cells. Ye et al  also found that, when rabbit eyes were exposed to 10 mW/cm 2 of low-power 2450 MHz microwave radiation for 30 h, the ultrastructure of the LECs changed; apoptotic morphological changes, including small cell size, decreased number of mitochondria and balloon-shaped mitochondria"
Finally it is also found an inhibition of Gap junctional intercellular communication in LECs, inducing a disruption of coordinated transport activity. It also affects the stress response pathways by the activation of heat shock protein (HSP):
" Using Western blot analysis, Yu et al  confirmed that microwave exposure produced significant changes in HSP27 and HSP70 but not HSP90 expression in LECs."
It explains how oxidative stress is a major factor leading to cataract formation.
Last modified on 15-Mar-16