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T K Koskela, G R Reiss, R F Brubaker, R D Ellefson; Is the high concentration of ascorbic acid in the eye an adaptation to intense solar irradiation?. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1989;30(10):2265-2267.
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Ascorbic acid is known to exist in high concentration in the aqueous humor of the eye in many species. It has been observed that diurnal mammals have a very high concentration in aqueous humor whereas nocturnal mammals do not. It has been hypothesized that ascorbic acid protects the eye from the harmful effects of sunlight. We have discovered that of two closely related species of spiny mice, the diurnal species (Acomys russatus) has a concentration in aqueous humor that is 35 times higher than that of the nocturnal species (Acomys cahirinus). Studies of these two species may be fruitful to extend what is known about adaptation of the eye to protect itself from intense solar radiation.
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