Focusing on the role of conjunctiva goblet cell in maintaining the health of ocular surface

Authors: Li Zhijie,  Wang Changjun

DOI: 10.3760/cma.j.issn.2095-0160.2017.02.001
Published 2017-02-10
Cite as Chin J Exp Ophthalmol, 2017,35(2): 97-101.

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Ocular surface tissues are vulnerable to various stimuli from the external environment, including microbial invasion, mechanical damage, chemical stimulation, dust, UV light, and allergen stimulation.Conjunctival goblet cells play an important role in maintaining ocular surface self-homeostasis and health.These cells are the only unicellular glands in humans and mammals that are mainly distributed in the epithelium of the digestive tract, respiratory tract, and the ocular surface.Many factors affect goblet cell development and differentiation, especially the newly discovered molecule Spdef, which is a transcription factor found in the ETS family.The main function of conjunctival goblet cells is to secrete mucin to protect and lubricate the ocular surface; however, they also secrete a variety of other bioactive substances.Recent studies have demonstrated that goblet cells are involved in antigen presentation, regulation of dendritic cell phenotype differentiation, and induction of immune tolerance on the mucosa.Many ocular surface diseases, such as dry eye, will alter density and function of conjunctival goblet cells.Therefore, ophthalmologists should be concerned about the biological behavior of conjunctival goblet cells and the relationship between them and ocular surface diseases.

Key words:

Goblet cell/physiology; Epithelial cells/cytology; Ocular surface; Homeostasis; Mucous membrane/physiology; Mucins; Immune; Eye diseases

Contributor Information

Li Zhijie
International Ocular Surface Center & Institute of Ophthalmology, Jinan University, Key Laboratory for Regenerative Medicine, Guangzhou 510632, China; Leukocyte Biology Laboratory, Children Nutrition Research Center, Baylor College of Medicine, 1100 Bates, Houston, TX 77030
Wang Changjun
Eye Center, Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University, School of Medicine, Zhejiang Provincial Key Lab of Ophthalmology, Hangzhou 310009, China
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