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Biofactors. 2011 Sep-Oct;37(5):393-8. doi: 10.1002/biof.166. Epub 2011 Oct 11.

Retinal coenzyme Q in the bovine eye.

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Department of Ophthalmology, People Hospital of Peking University, Beijing, China.


Coenzyme Q plays an integral role in oxygen metabolism and management, and there is a positive correlation between low tissue coenzyme Q concentrations and the progression of many degenerative diseases. Retinal oxidative damage plays a role in the pathogenesis of many degenerative eye diseases; nevertheless, despite the retina's high rate of oxygen metabolism, there is little data relating to retinal coenzyme Q concentrations. In this study, we quantified coenzyme Q in the model bovine eye and determined whether it could function as a retinal lipid antioxidant. We found that the neural retina's ubiquinone concentration exceeded those of the vitreous humor, lens, choroid, and extraocular muscle, but it was lower than those measured in heart, kidney, liver, and brain tissues. Ubiquinol was found to be as effective as vitamin E as a retinal lipid antioxidant. The overall relatively low levels of ubiquinone found in the retina, coupled with the retina's need for lipid antioxidants and oxidative metabolism, suggests that retinal function might be sensitive to changes in ubiquinone concentrations.

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