Corneal immune cell morphometry as an indicator of local and systemic pathology: A review

Holly R. Chinnery, Xin Yuan Zhang, Ching Yi Wu, Laura E. Downie

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Citations (Web of Science)


The corneal epithelium contains a population of resident immune cells commonly referred to as dendritic cells (DCs), or Langerhans cells. A unique advantage of the transparent cornea being situated at the surface of the eye is that these cells can be readily visualised using in vivo confocal microscopy. Over the past decade, interest in the involvement of corneal DCs in a range of ocular and systemic diseases has surged. For most studies, the number of corneal DCs has been the main outcome of interest. However, more recently attention has shifted towards understanding how DC morphology may provide insights into the inflammatory status of the cornea, and in some cases, the health of the peripheral nervous system. In this review, we provide examples of recent methodologies that have been used to classify and measure corneal DC morphology and discuss how this relates to local and systemic inflammatory conditions in humans and rodents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)729-740
Number of pages12
JournalClinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021
Externally publishedYes


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