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Acta Ophthalmol. 2009 Aug;87(5):488-97. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-3768.2009.01596.x.

The taming of the shrew? The immunology of corneal transplantation.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Charité University Berlin, Germany.


Corneal transplantation, first reported a century ago, is the oldest and most frequent form of solid tissue transplantation. Although keratoplasty is also considered as the most successful transplant procedure, several studies indicate that the long term survival of corneal grafts is even lower than that of transplanted parenchymatous organs. Despite the immune privilege enjoyed by the cornea and anterior segment of the eye, immunologic graft rejection is a major limitation to corneal transplantation. This review gives an update on corneal immunobiology and the mechanisms of corneal graft rejection, focusing on antigen presentation, as well as on the molecular and cellular mediators of this particular immune response.

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