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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 207250, 10 pages
Review Article

Antioxidant Delivery Pathways in the Anterior Eye

1Department of Optometry and Vision Science, University of Auckland, Auckland 1023, New Zealand
2New Zealand National Eye Centre, University of Auckland, Auckland 1023, New Zealand
3School of Medical Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland 1023, New Zealand

Received 2 May 2013; Accepted 8 August 2013

Academic Editor: Chitra Kannabiran

Copyright © 2013 Ankita Umapathy et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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.