The significance of ascorbate in the aqueous humour protection against UV-A and UV-B

Exp Eye Res. 1996 Mar;62(3):261-4. doi: 10.1006/exer.1996.0031.


It has previously been suggested that the aqueous humour acts as a UV-filter protecting the structures behind. This hypothesis has here been further evaluated by use of spectrophotometry and spectrofluorimetry. Principally three different aspects of the protecting mechanism have been unveiled: absorption, fluorescence quenching and wavelength transformation. The extremely high ascorbate values obviously play a key role in all of them. Thus, aqueous ascorbate both increased absorption and suppressed fluorescence of radiation below roughly 310 nm wavelength. In addition, as a consequence of ascorbate quenching, fluorescence emission to the UV-A range (320-400 nm) is substantially reduced.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aqueous Humor / chemistry
  • Aqueous Humor / physiology*
  • Ascorbic Acid / physiology*
  • Cattle
  • Spectrometry, Fluorescence
  • Spectrophotometry
  • Ultraviolet Rays*


  • Ascorbic Acid