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Ocul Surf. 2005 Oct;3(4 Suppl):S158-60.

Corneal immune privilege.

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Department of Ophthalmology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas 75390, USA.


This year marks the 100th anniversary of the first successful corneal transplant on a human subject. Corneal allografts enjoy an exceptionally high acceptance, with rejection occurring in less than 10% of the patients who have not previously received a corneal transplant and who do not have underlying ocular inflammation. Corneal grafts survive even though HLA typing and systemic immunosuppressive drugs are not employed. The remarkable success of corneal transplants is due to a combination of anatomical, physiological, and immunological properties that conspire to prevent the induction and expression of potentially destructive immune responses to the foreign transplant.

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