Corneal transplantation and immune privilege

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

52 Scopus citations


Corneal transplants have been successfully performed in human subjects for over 100 years and enjoy an immune privilege that is unrivaled in the field of transplantation. Immune privilege is defined as the reduced incidence and tempo in the immune rejection of corneal allografts compared to other categories of organ allografts performed under the same conditions. Skin allografts transplanted across various MHC or minor histocompatibility barriers undergo rejection in approximately 100% of the hosts. By contrast, orthotopic corneal allografts experience long-term survival in 50% to >90% of the hosts, depending on the histocompatibility barriers that confront the host. The capacity of corneal allografts to evade immune rejection is attributable to multiple anatomical, physiological and immunoregulatory conditions that conspire to prevent the induction and expression of alloimmunity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-67
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Reviews of Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2013


  • Corneal transplantation
  • Immune privilege
  • Immune tolerance
  • Keratoplasty
  • T regulatory cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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