Ocular Microbiology and Immunology

The Ocular immune system protects the eye from infection and regulates healing processes following injuries. The interior of the eye lacks lymph vessels but is highly vascularized, and many immune cells reside in the uvea, including mostly macrophages, dendritic cells, and mast cells. These cells fight off intraocular infections, and intraocular inflammation can manifest as uveitis (including iritis) or retinitis. The cornea of the eye is immunologically a very special tissue. Its constant exposure to the exterior world means that it is vulnerable to a wide range of microorganisms while its moist mucosal surface makes the cornea particularly susceptible to attack. At the same time, its lack of vasculature and relative immune separation from the rest of the body makes immune defense difficult. Lastly, the cornea is a multifunctional tissue. It provides a large part of the eye’s refractive power, meaning it has to maintain remarkable transparency, but must also serve as a barrier to keep pathogens from reaching the rest of the eye, similar to function of the dermis and epidermis in keeping underlying tissues protected. Immune reactions within the cornea come from surrounding vascularized tissues as well as innate immune responsive cells that reside within the cornea.

  • Immune Difficulties For The Cornea
  • Immune Responses of the Cornea
  • Mucosa-Associated Lymphoid Tissue
  • Conjunctival Immune Response
  • Lacrimal Immune Response

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