To review the role of antigen-presenting cells (APC) in the pathogenesis of ocular surface diseases (OSD).
A thorough literature search was performed in PubMed database. An additional search was made in Google Scholar to complete the collected items.
APCs have the ability to initiate and direct immune responses and are found in most lymphoid and non-lymphoid tissues. APCs continuously sample their environment, present antigens to T cells and co-ordinate immune tolerance and responses. Many different types of APCs have been described and there is growing evidence that these cells are involved in the pathogenesis of OSD. OSD is a complex term for a myriad of disorders that are often characterized by ocular surface inflammation, tear film instability and impairment of vision.
This review summarizes the current knowledge concerning the immunotopographical distribution of APCs in the normal ocular surface. APCs appear to play a critical role in the pathology of a number of conditions associated with OSD including infectious keratitis, ocular allergy, dry eye disease and pterygium.