The cornea IV immunology, infection, neovascularization, and surgery chapter 1: Corneal immunology.
PURPOSE: of Review: This review offers an informed and up-to-date insight on the immune profile of the cornea and the factors that govern the regulation of such a unique immune environment. SUMMARY: The cornea is a unique tissue that performs the specialized task of allowing light to penetrate for visual interpretation. To accomplish this, the ocular surface requires a distinct immune environment that is achieved through unique structural, cellular and molecular factors. Not only must the cornea be able to fend off invasive infectious agents but also control the inflammatory response as to avoid collateral, and potentially blinding damage; particularly of post-mitotic cells such as the corneal endothelium. To combat infections, both innate and adaptive arms of the inflammatory immune response are at play in the cornea. Dendritic cells play a critical role in coordinating both these responses in order to fend off infections. On the other side of the spectrum, the ocular surface is also endowed with a variety of anatomic and physiologic components that aid in regulating the immune response to prevent excessive, potentially damaging, inflammation. This attenuation of the immune response is termed immune privilege. The balance between pro and anti-inflammatory reactions is key for preservation of the functional integrity of the cornea. RECENT FINDINGS: The understanding of the molecular and cellular factors governing corneal immunology and its response to antigens is a growing field. Dendritic cells in the normal cornea play a crucial role in combating infections and coordinating the inflammatory arms of the immune response, particularly through coordination with T-helper cells. The role of neuropeptides is recently becoming more highlighted with different factors working on both sides of the inflammatory balance.
Mousa, HM; Saban, DR; Perez, VL
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