The authors review the available evidence supporting the possible role of oxidative stress in cataract formation from an epidemiological and a clinical point of view. They discuss in more detail what is presently known about the molecular mechanisms of response of the mammalian lens to an oxidative insult and report unpublished data on gene modulation upon oxidative stress in a bovine lens model. Main research endeavors that seem to be a most promising source of new insights into the problem of age-related cataract formation are briefly discussed.

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