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Biomed Res Int. 2013;2013:207250. doi: 10.1155/2013/207250. Epub 2013 Sep 26.

Antioxidant delivery pathways in the anterior eye.

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  • 1Department of Optometry and Vision Science, University of Auckland, Auckland 1023, New Zealand ; New Zealand National Eye Centre, University of Auckland, Auckland 1023, New Zealand.

Abstract

Tissues in the anterior segment of the eye are particular vulnerable to oxidative stress. To minimise oxidative stress, ocular tissues utilise a range of antioxidant defence systems which include nonenzymatic and enzymatic antioxidants in combination with repair and chaperone systems. However, as we age our antioxidant defence systems are overwhelmed resulting in increased oxidative stress and damage to tissues of the eye and the onset of various ocular pathologies such as corneal opacities, lens cataracts, and glaucoma. While it is well established that nonenzymatic antioxidants such as ascorbic acid and glutathione are important in protecting ocular tissues from oxidative stress, less is known about the delivery mechanisms used to accumulate these endogenous antioxidants in the different tissues of the eye. This review aims to summarise what is currently known about the antioxidant transport pathways in the anterior eye and how a deeper understanding of these transport systems with respect to ocular physiology could be used to increase antioxidant levels and delay the onset of eye diseases.

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