Inhibition of Hyaluronic Acid Degradation by Dimethyl Sulphoxide


THE presence of ascorbic acid in vitreous humour1 is of great importance in the process of post-mortem degradation, since hyaluronic acid, the major polysaccharide component of vitreous humour2, has been shown3 to be degraded by reducing agents such as ascorbic acid and hydroquinone, in the presence of oxygen (the so-called ORD—oxidative reductive depolymerization—reaction). It is generally held that this depolymerization is brought about by free radical action, since radical scavengers such as sodium diethyldithiocarbamate have been shown4 to inhibit the reaction, and in an analogous investigation of the degradation of alginate, Smidsrod, Haug and Larsen5 have postulated a free radical reaction with peroxide intermediates. In our examination of the preservation of human vitreous humour a major consideration has been the effects of external agents, such as antibiotic preservatives and their ability to participate in an ORD reaction, together with methods of preventing such degradation.

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BARKER, S., CREWS, S., MARSTERS, J. et al. Inhibition of Hyaluronic Acid Degradation by Dimethyl Sulphoxide. Nature 207, 1388–1389 (1965).

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