The distribution of HLA antigens on human corneal tissue

C. F. Whitsett, R. D. Stulting

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148 Scopus citations


Frozen sections of human corneas, as well as cultured cells derived from the epithelial, stromal, and endothelial layers, were examined for class I (HLA-A, B, C) and class II (HLA-DR) histocompatibility antigens using mouse monoclonal antibodies in an indirect immunofluorescence assay. On frozen sections, class I antigens were readily detected on corneal epithelium and keratocytes. Class I antigens were not detected on endothelial cells on frozen sections of adult corneas, but were identified on endothelial cells from some individuals less than 2 years of age. Class II antigens were not detected on corneal epithelial, stromal or endothelial cells on frozen sections. However, HLA-DR-positive dendritic cells were seen in corneal epithelium and were more numerous near the limbus. HLA-DR was expressed by cuboidal cells in the basal layer of conjunctival epithelium from several infants. Cultured cells derived from corneal epithelium, stroma, and endothelium consistently expressed class I but not class II antigens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519-524
Number of pages6
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1984
Externally publishedYes


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