This study focuses on understanding In the eye immune defenses must take place in a plethora of differing microenvironments ranging from the corneal and conjunctival epithelia facing the external environment to the pigmented connective tissue of the uveal tract containing smooth muscle, blood vessels and peripheral nerves to the innermost and highly protected neural retina. The extravascular environment of the neural retina, like the brain parenchyma, is stringently controlled to maintain conditions required for neural transmission. The unique physiological nature of the neural retina can be attributed to the blood retinal barriers (BRB) of the retinal vasculature and the retinal pigment epithelium, which both tightly regulate the transport of small molecules and restrict passage of cells and macromolecules from the circulation into the retina in a similar fashion to the blood brain barrier (BBB). The extracellular environment of the neural retina differs markedly from that of the highly vascular, loose connective tissue of the choroid, which lies outside the BRB. The choroid hosts a variety of immune cell types, including macrophages, dendritic cells (DCs) and mast cells. This is in marked contrast to the neural parenchyma of the retina, which is populated almost solely by microglia.


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