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Year : 1983  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 73-74

Ascorbic acid concentration in developing human fetal vitreous humor

Department of Biochemistry Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research, Calcutta, India

Correspondence Address:
Abhijit Sen
Deptt. of Biochemistry Institute of Post Graduate Medical Educaticn Research, Calcutta
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 6662572

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How to cite this article:
Sen A, Roy R, Mukherjee K L. Ascorbic acid concentration in developing human fetal vitreous humor. Indian J Ophthalmol 1983;31:73-4

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Sen A, Roy R, Mukherjee K L. Ascorbic acid concentration in developing human fetal vitreous humor. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 1983 [cited 2024 Feb 26];31:73-4. Available from: https://journals.lww.com/ijo/pages/default.aspx/text.asp?1983/31/2/73/27441

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Vitreous humor contains ascorbic acid at a higher concentration than blood.[1] Different species of animals have different concentra­tions of ascorbic acid in vitreous humor.[2] During development of the eye. the ascorbic acid content of the vitreous in fetuses was found to increase gradually until the adult level was reached prior to birth.[3] We report the same to be true in human fetal eye.

  Materials and methods Top

The human fetuses were obtained from the M.T.P. Clinic of the department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology. They were taken out of the uterus in their entirety by the operation of hysterotomy in multiparous mother who did not want to continue their pregnancy and also opted for ligation at the same time. The eyes were immediately dissected and the entire vitreous humor was taken out, weighed to the nearest tenth of a milligram. The ascorbic acid content was estimated by the method of Baker and Frank.[4]

  Observations Top

[Table - 1] shows the anthropometry of the fetuses and their ascorbic acid contents. The fetuses belonged to a gestation period of 10 to 24 weeks. The ascorbic acid content (the last column in [Table - 1]) was found to increase gradually from 0.32 mg per 100 gm of vitre­ous humor at 10 weeks to around 2 mg at 24 weeks. This relationship is shown graphi­cally in [Figure - 1]. The straight line relationship [Figure - 1] seems to be valid upto a body weight of 400 gm (approx) beyond which the slope shall rapidly diminish with increas­ing body weight. This could not be conclusi­vely shown due to a lack of data on fetuses beyond 400 gm body weight.

  Discussion Top

The viscosity of vitreous humor is due to its content of hyaluronic acid.[5] Under normal conditions the hyaluronic acid is present as a complex with pretein. The hyaluronic acid pretein complexes of human vitreous humor were iselated by Baker et al.[6] The vitreous humor does not possess any hyaluronidase 7 in contrast to other organs where the polydis­persity of the mucopolysaccharides in vivo could be regulated by the presence of the enzyme. However, exidative depolymerization can probably be achieved by ascorbic acid in conjunction with some metal ions like copper. 8 In this way ascorbic acid may regulate the relative viscosity of the vitreous humor. The vitreous humor in fetuses of earlier gestation period may contain the mucopolysaccharides at lower concentration than at later gestation period. So a high ascorbate concentration at this period may not be necessary. However, as the eye develops, higher ascorbic acid concentration may be necessary for regulating the fluidity of the gel.

  Summary Top

During the development of Human Fetal vitreous humor the content of ascorbic acid increases gradually upto a level which remains more or less steady during adult life.

  References Top

Heath. H.. 1962, Expt. Eye Research 1 : 362.  Back to cited text no. 1
Ba'aze, E.A., Laurest, T C., Laurent. U.B.G., DeRoche. M.H., and Bunney. D.M., 1959, Arch. Biochem. Biophvs 81. 464.  Back to cited text no. 2
Robert. A.. Moses , 1975, Adler's Physiology of the Eye and clinical application. 6th Ed. P. 265. C.V. Mosby Co. Saint Lousis.  Back to cited text no. 3
Baker. H. and Frank. O.. 1968.. Clinical Vitaminologr. Method and Interpretation. Chapter X, p. 153. Inteiscience, U.S.A.  Back to cited text no. 4
Davson, H.. 1969.. 'The Eye' 2nd. Ed. Vol. 1, p. 284. Academic press. New York.  Back to cited text no. 5
Barker. S.A. Crews, S.J., Marsters, J.B. and Staoey. M. 1965. Clinica Chim. Acta II.. p.1 39.  Back to cited text no. 6


  [Figure - 1]

  [Table - 1]


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