For a study, researchers have shed light on the involvement of the epithelial glycocalyx in the maintenance of the ocular surface barrier function. Researchers reviewed the discoveries, discussed their significance to allergy and infectious illness, and emphasized the prospective benefits of using barrier integrity regulation for therapeutic gain. Tight junctions, for example, had been intensively studied as molecular components that sealed the gap between neighboring ocular surface epithelial cells and had been shown to contribute to the paracellular barrier. Transmembrane mucins and associated O-glycans on the glycocalyx form a second layer of protection known as the transcellular barrier. Cell surface glycans bind carbohydrate-binding proteins, promoting the creation of complexes that were no longer considered a static structure, but rather a dynamic system that responds to external signals and controls pathogenic responses. The glycocalyx, although acting as a protective mechanism to preserve homeostasis, also limits the therapeutic targeting of epithelial cells.

The classic notion of intercellular connections that play the role of safeguarding the ocular surface epithelia had recently been modified to incorporate an extra glycan shield that borders the ocular surface’s apical membranes. Greater knowledge of this apical barrier might lead to a more effective therapy of ocular surface disease.