Coenzyme Q10 in the human retina

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2009 Apr;50(4):1814-8. doi: 10.1167/iovs.08-2656. Epub 2008 Dec 5.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Retina / enzymology*
  • Ubiquinone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Ubiquinone / analysis


  • Ubiquinone
  • coenzyme Q10