Document Type



Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor's Name

John T. Landrum

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Kenneth G. Furton

Third Advisor's Name

Yong Cai

Date of Defense



The purpose of this study was to develop a deeper understanding of the nature of carotenoid metabolism in the human and primate retina. We have sought to do this from two perspectives (1) through preparation and study of a carotenoid diketone that is a candidate metabolic product and (2) through measurement of the carotenoid distribution in the retinas of neonatal macaques.

In this thesis we report the synthesis, purification, and characterization of the product using HPLC, UV/Vis, MS, 1H-NMR. The data obtained are all consistent with the proposed β,β-carotene-3,3'-dione.

There has been no thorough study of the development of the macular pigment during the earliest stages of life immediately following birth. In this study 30 macaque retinas ranging from 148 days of gestation to 15 years in age were analyzed. The amounts of the carotenoids, lutein, R,R-zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin were determined using C 18 reversed-phase column and chiral, normal-phase column HPLC.




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