Quenching of UV-induced fluorescence by ascorbic acid in the aqueous humour

Acta Ophthalmol Scand. 1995 Dec;73(6):529-33. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0420.1995.tb00330.x.


Spectrophotometry and spectrofluorimetry of bovine aqueous humour have been performed. The question of whether mechanisms for fluorescence quenching exist in the eye media was evaluated. It turned out that the marked fluorescence of tryptophane and protein was considerably quenched by the ascorbic acid, an observation not shown before. Thus, the aqueous humour minimizes UV-radiation to the lens in diurnal animals through three different mechanisms: 1) Absorption. 2) Fluorescence-quenching. 3) Fluorescence-mediated ray transformation of energy-rich short wavelengths to less potent longer wave-lengths. The impact of each of them is significantly influenced by the ascorbate concentration in the aqueous humour. The phenomenon of fluorescence-mediated ray transformation is, of course, per se independent of ascorbate, but the transformational input is significantly reduced due to ascorbate.

MeSH terms

  • Absorption
  • Animals
  • Aqueous Humor / metabolism*
  • Aqueous Humor / radiation effects*
  • Ascorbic Acid / physiology*
  • Cattle
  • Dialysis
  • Eye Proteins / physiology
  • Fluorescence
  • Fluorometry
  • Light
  • Osmolar Concentration
  • Scattering, Radiation
  • Spectrophotometry
  • Tryptophan / physiology
  • Ultraviolet Rays*


  • Eye Proteins
  • Tryptophan
  • Ascorbic Acid