Epithelial cells in ocular allergy

Irkec M., Bozkurt B.

CURRENT ALLERGY AND ASTHMA REPORTS, vol.3, no.4, pp.352-357, 2003 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 3 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11882-003-0098-2
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.352-357
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: No


Conjunctival epithelial cells do not act only as mechanical barriers, preventing the entry of particles, bacteria, viruses, and noxious substances into the eye but they are also active participants in the regulation of allergic inflammation via expressing adhesion/effector molecules (intercellular adhesion molecule-1, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, human leukocyte antigen-DR, CD40/CD40L. Fas/Fas ligand) on their surfaces and releasing numerous proinflammatory cytokines, such as eotaxin, regulated on activation normal T-cell expressed and released (RANTES), macrophage inflammatory protein-1, interleukin (IL)-8, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha, which are necessary for the proliferation, differentiation, activation, and chemotaxis of various inflammatory cells into the conjunctiva. Histamine, released from the conjunctival mast cells, might stimulate the synthesis of proinflammatory molecules such as IL-6 and IL-8 by the epithelial cells through the receptors that couple to inositol phosphate generation and, therefore, amplify the allergic response. The relationship between the epithelium and allergy should be considered in detail in future studies aiming at an effective control and treatment of all forms of allergic conjunctivitis.