Implications and Future Directions

The constitutive presence of APCs, including DCs, in the cornea has important implications for a variety of pathological and immunoinflammatory responses in the ocular anterior segment, including alloimmune, autoimmune, and innate immune responses. Importantly, the recent findings focus attention on the cornea itself as a participant in immune and inflammatory responses, rather than it simply serving as a passive tissue that responds to the activity of infiltrating cells.

Many questions remain unanswered. What is the constitutive role of corneal APCs in maintaining tolerance? What factors of the ocular microenvironment promote or actively maintain their highly immature phenotype? What is the role of the resident BM-derived cells in mediating wound healing and regulating matrix-keratocyte interactions? There is little doubt that a better understanding of these issues could shed important insights into tolerance induction, autoimmunity, and allergy to name a few.

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Dr. Pedram Hamrah

Cornea Service, Mass. Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School 243 Charles Street, Boston, MA 02114 (USA)

Tel. +1 617 573 4300, Fax +1 617 573 4300, E-Mail [email protected]

Niederkorn JY, Kaplan HJ (eds): Immune Response and the Eye. Chem Immunol Allergy. Basel, Karger, 2007, vol 92, pp 71-85

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