alexa Corneal Lymphatics: Role in Ocular Inflammation as Inducer and Responder of Adaptive Immunity
ISSN: 2155-9899

Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology
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Review Article

Corneal Lymphatics: Role in Ocular Inflammation as Inducer and Responder of Adaptive Immunity

Sunil K. Chauhan*, Thomas H. Dohlman and Reza Dana
Schepens Eye Research Institute and Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA
Corresponding Author : Sunil Chauhan
Schepens Eye Research Institute
20 Staniford Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA
Tel: 617-912-7401
Fax: 617-912-0117
Email: [email protected]
Received: July 15, 2014; Accepted: September 18, 2014; Published: September 27, 2014
Citation: Chauhan SK, Dohlman TH, Dana R (2014) Corneal Lymphatics: Role in Ocular Inflammation as Inducer and Responder of Adaptive Immunity. J Clin Cell Immunol 5:256. doi:10.4172/2155-9899.1000256
Copyright: © 2014 Chauhan SK, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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Abstract

The normal cornea is devoid of lymphatic and blood vessels, thus suppressing both the afferent (lymphatic) and efferent (vascular) arms of the immune response–contributing to its ‘immune privilege’. Inflammation, however, negates this unique ‘immune’ and ‘angiogenic’ privilege of the cornea. Abnormal blood vessel growth from pre-existing limbal vessels into the cornea has been studied for many years, but it is only recently that the significance of new lymphatic vessels (lymphangiogenesis) in ocular inflammatory diseases has been demonstrated. Whereas blood vessels in inflamed ocular surface provide a route of entry for immune effector cells to the cornea, lymphatics facilitate the exit of antigen-presenting cells and antigenic material from the cornea to regional lymph nodes, thus promoting induction of adaptive immune response. This review summarizes the current evidence for lymphangiogenesis in the cornea, and describes its molecular mediators; and discusses the interface between corneal lymphangiogenesis and adaptive immunity. Furthermore, the pathophysiologic implications of corneal lymphangiogenesis in the setting of allo- and autoimmune-mediated corneal inflammation are discussed.

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