The activities of glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase and glutathione-S-transferase were determined in lenses from rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatto) as a function of age. The ages ranged from 137 day old embryos to a 34 year old. Glutathione peroxidase activity (units/g lens) occurred at a very low level in lenses of fetuses and neonates, but increased dramatically with age, peaking in the adult of about 12 to 20 years of age and declining thereafter. Glutathione reductase activity (units/g lens) decreased throughout juvenile life, leveling off when adulthood was reached (at least 6 years of age). Glutathione-S-transferase activity showed considerable age-related variation. Calculations show that glutathione reductase is rate-limiting in the glutathione redox pathway.
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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The authors wish to thank Pearl 1. Bergad for aid in certain technical phases of this research, as well as the personnel at the Delta Primate Center, the Oregon Primate Center, the Yerkes Primate Center, and the Wisconsin Primate Center, especially the personnel of Dr. Paul Kaufman's laboratory, for supplying all the rhesus monkey lenses used in this study. This research was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health research grants EY-01197 and EY-05031, and a gift from Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc.