Immune mechanisms of corneal allograft rejection

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

104 Scopus citations


Penetrating keratoplasty has been successfully performed on humans for over 100 years and remains the most common form of solid tissue transplantation. Although corneal allografts enjoy a remarkable degree of immune privilege, immune rejection remains the leading cause of keratoplasty failure. The immunologic basis for corneal allograft rejection was established in animal studies over 50 years ago, yet large gaps remain in our knowledge regarding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of corneal allograft rejection. The enormous redundancy in the mammalian immune system creates a condition that favors the development of multiple independent immune mechanisms that can produce corneal allograft rejection. Although there are few absolute principles, it is certain that the immune rejection of corneal allografts is (1) T cell-dependent, (1) heavily dependent upon CD4+ T cells, (3) not restricted to either Th1 or Th2 T cell populations, and (4) dependent upon an intact repertoire of resident antigen presenting cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1005-1016
Number of pages12
JournalCurrent Eye Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2007


  • Corneal transplantation
  • Graft
  • Immune rejection
  • Keratoplasty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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