The corneal surface was examined by means of replica histology, and the excised limbic conjunctiva was examined by routine histological and immunohistochemical methods with monoclonal antibodies directed against major histocompatibility class II antigens, lymphocyte subsets, Langerhans cells (HLA-DR, OKT4-Leu3a, OKT8, BA1, B1, and OKT6) and immunoglobulins A, G, M, and D. The findings were compared with those found in normal conjunctiva. No inflammatory cells were present in the replica of the corneal surface. An inflammatory infiltrate composed of B lymphocytes and null cells, in addition to T lymphocytes, Langerhans cells, and polymorphs, was present in the epithelium as well as in the stroma of the limbic conjunctiva. The composition of the infiltrate points towards the involvement of cell mediated immunity as well as humoral immunity. No immunoglobulins were bound to the conjunctival epithelium.
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