High-risk corneal allografts and why they lose their immune privilege

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Purpose of review: Corneal allografts are routinely performed without HLA typing or systemic immunosuppressive drugs. However, certain conditions create high risks for immune rejection. This review discusses recent insights into the mechanisms that rob the corneal allograft of its immune privilegeRecent findings: Studies in mice have revealed that stimuli that induce new blood vessel growth in the cornea also elicit proliferation of lymph vessels. Lymph vessels facilitate migration of antigen-presenting cells to regional lymph nodes in which they induce alloimmune responses. The presence of blood vessels in the corneal graft bed creates a unique chemokine milieu that stimulates recruitment of sensitized lymphocytes into the corneal allograft. Other data indicate that although corneal allograft survival is closely associated with Foxp3 expression in CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ T regulatory cells (Tregs), reduced expression of Foxp3 in Tregs creates a high risk for graft rejection. Recent evidence indicates that allergic diseases have a profound impact on the immune response and produce a dramatic increase in corneal allograft rejection. Summary: Understanding the underlying mechanisms that create 'high-risk' hosts may provide important therapeutic targets for restoring immune privilege of corneal allografts and enhancing their survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)493-497
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2010


  • Allergy
  • angiogenesis
  • corneal transplantation
  • immune privilege

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'High-risk corneal allografts and why they lose their immune privilege'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this