The eye is regarded as an immune privileged site. Since the presence of a vasculature would impair vision, the vasculature of the eye is located outside of the central light path. As a result, many regions of the eye evolved mechanisms to deliver immune cells to sites of dysgenesis, injury, or in response to the many age-related pathologies. While the purpose of these immune responses is reparative or protective, cytokines released by immune cells compromise visual acuity by inducing inflammation and fibrosis. The response to traumatic or pathological injury is distinct in different regions of the eye. Age-related diseases impact both the anterior and posterior segment and lead to reduced quality of life and blindness. Here we focus attention on the role that inflammation and fibrosis play in the progression of age-related pathologies of the cornea and the lens as well as in glaucoma, the formation of epiretinal membranes, and in proliferative vitreoretinopathy.
Stepp, Mary Ann and Menko, A Sue, "Immune responses to injury and their links to eye disease." (2021). Department of Pathology, Anatomy, and Cell Biology Faculty Papers. Paper 334.
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