Privilege revisited: an evaluation of the eye's defence mechanisms

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25 Citations (Scopus)


Immune privilege has been considered for many years to be an interesting phenomenon associated with certain specialised tissues such as the eye and the brain. In recent years however, it has become clear that the active and passive mechanisms which underpin immune privilege are in fact a form of tissue-based immunological tolerance, perhaps of equal importance in providing defence against antigenic attack as the well established mechanisms based on the thymus (central tolerance) and circulating regulatory cells (peripheral tolerance). It would appear that each tissue possesses a degree of intrinsic immunological resistance which varies depending on the tissues and provides some degree of protection. In some tissues, such as the eye, this is protection from 'danger' has been developed to a high level of sophistication, but at a price. The mechanisms involved are presented in his lecture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)756-766
Number of pages11
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009


  • immune privilege
  • inflammation
  • tolerance
  • macular degeneration
  • experimental autoimmune uveitis
  • draining lymph-node
  • orthotopic corneal allografts
  • honeycomb retinal dystrophy
  • blood-brain-barrier
  • TH17 T-cells
  • dendritic cells
  • ultrastructural pathology


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