Purpose: To determine the concentration of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) in the human retina.
Methods: Eye tissues were lyophilized and exhaustively extracted with heptane. The extracts were analyzed for CoQ10 by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC).
Results: The average concentration of CoQ10 in the retina was 42+/-11 nanomoles/g dry retina for donors younger than 30 years of age and 24+/-13 nanomoles/g dry retina for donors older than 80 years of age. The average concentrations of CoQ10 in the choroid was 27+/-16 nanomoles/g dry choroid for donors younger than 30 age and 18+/-11 nanomoles/g dry choroid for donors older than 80.
Conclusions: CoQ10 levels in the retina can decline by approximately 40% with age. This decline may have two consequences: a decrease in antioxidant ability and a decrease in the rate of ATP synthesis in the retina and, as such, this decline may be linked to the progression of macular degeneration.