Chapter 7. Transplantation Immunobiology of the Cornea

  1. Ruth Porter and
  2. Julie Knight
  1. Arthur M. Silverstein and
  2. Ali A. Khodadoust

Published Online: 30 MAY 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470719985.ch7

Ciba Foundation Symposium 15 - Corneal Graft Failure

Ciba Foundation Symposium 15 - Corneal Graft Failure

How to Cite

Silverstein, A. M. and Khodadoust, A. A. (1973) Transplantation Immunobiology of the Cornea, in Ciba Foundation Symposium 15 - Corneal Graft Failure (eds R. Porter and J. Knight), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470719985.ch7

Author Information

  1. The Wilmer Institute, Johns Hopkins Medical School, Baltimore, and Department of Ophthalmology, Pahlavi University Medical School, Shiraz, Iran

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 MAY 2008
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1973

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9789021940168

Online ISBN: 9780470719985



  • endothelium;
  • immunobiology;
  • transplantation;
  • cornea;
  • dead tissue


Transplantation of the cornea presents the immunologist with a set of conditions which are unique in transplant biology, with respect to both donor tissue and recipient bed. These include: (1) the normal avascularity of the cornea; (2) the simplified anatomy of its layered structure; (3) the ability to exclude from the graft certain tissue elements (endothelium from lamellar grafts and epithelium from all grafts); (4) the ability to transplant dead tissue successfully (the stroma); and (5) the special sensitivity of the penetrating graft to any embarrassment of its endothelium. These features are considered in a review of the experimental evidence for the survival of the separate cell layers of the cornea, their antigenicity, and the manner in which they may suffer rejection. The effects of these special features of corneal anatomy and physiology on the afferent arc of host sensitization as well as on the efferent arc of allograft rejection are also examined. Finally, it is pointed out that the typical patterns of epithelial, stromal or endothelial rejection constitute pathognomonic indicators of the specific allograft rejection process.