Ocular Surface as Barrier of Innate Immunity

Rodrigo Bolaños-Jiménez*, 1, 2, Alejandro Navas1, 3, Erika Paulina López-Lizárraga 3, Francesc March de Ribot 4, Alexandra Peña 2, Enrique O Graue-Hernández 1, 3, Yonathan Garfias 1, 5
1 Research Unit, Institute of Ophthalmology, Conde de Valenciana Foundation, Chimalpopoca 14, Obrera, CP 06800, Mexico City, México
2 Ophthalmology Department, Regional Hospital, Adolfo López Mateos, ISSSTE, México City, México
3 Department of Cataract and refractive surgery, Institute of Ophthalmology, Conde de Valenciana Foundation, Mexico City, México
4 Department of Retina, Institute of Ophthalmology, Conde de Valenciana Foundation, Mexico City, México
5 Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 04510. Mexico City, Mexico

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© Bolaños-Jiménez et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Research Unit, Institute of Ophthalmology Chimalpopoca 14, Obrera, 06800 Mexico City, Mexico; Tel: +52(55) 54421700, Ext. 3212; Fax: +52(55) 54421700, Ext. 3206; E-mail:


Sight is one of the most important senses that human beings possess. The ocular system is a complex structure equipped with mechanisms that prevent or limit damage caused by physical, chemical, infectious and environmental factors. These mechanisms include a series of anatomical, cellular and humoral factors that have been a matter of study. The cornea is not only the most powerful and important lens of the optical system, but also, it has been involved in many other physiological and pathological processes apart from its refractive nature; the morphological and histological properties of the cornea have been thoroughly studied for the last fifty years; drawing attention in its molecular characteristics of immune response. This paper will review the anatomical and physiological aspects of the cornea, conjunctiva and lacrimal apparatus, as well as the innate immunity at the ocular surface.

Keywords: Cornea, innate immunity, mucins, neuropeptides, ocular surface, pattern recognition receptors.