A direct correlation between the levels of ascorbic acid and H2O2 in aqueous humor

Exp Eye Res. 1984 Jan;38(1):87-93. doi: 10.1016/0014-4835(84)90142-8.


There is evidence that H2O2 present in aqueous humor arises from ascorbic acid which is also present in this fluid, but the extent to which peroxide is derived from ascorbic acid is not known. We have measured the concentrations of H2O2 and ascorbic acid normally present in the aqueous humor of various species and also under conditions in which the level of ascorbic acid in the fluid was experimentally altered. In aqueous humor of rabbit and guinea pig the concentration of ascorbic acid was 10 times higher than that present in aqueous of rat and frog. Similarly, the concentration of H2O2 was four to 10 times higher in rabbit and guinea pig aqueous compared to that in rat and frog. Consistent with the higher concentration of ascorbic acid in posterior compared to anterior aqueous humor in the rabbit, the concentration of H2O2 was also significantly higher in the posterior aqueous. When ascorbic acid in rabbit aqueous humor was elevated by intraperitoneal administration of the compound, there was a significant increase in the level of H2O2 in both anterior and posterior aqueous humor. Moreover, when the level of ascorbic acid was lowered experimentally by placing guinea pigs on an ascorbic acid deficient diet, a 10-fold decrease in the level of both ascorbic acid and H2O2 was observed in the aqueous humor. Upon returning the animals to a normal diet, the concentrations of both compounds returned to control values. The direct correlation between the concentrations of ascorbic acid and H2O2 in aqueous humor suggests that ascorbic acid is the primary source of H2O2 in this fluid.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anura
  • Aqueous Humor / analysis*
  • Aqueous Humor / metabolism
  • Ascorbic Acid / analysis*
  • Ascorbic Acid / metabolism
  • Ascorbic Acid Deficiency / metabolism
  • Female
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / analysis*
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / metabolism
  • Rabbits
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Species Specificity


  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Ascorbic Acid