When a pathogen (light blue) infects a mouse eye (nerves shown in purple), T cells (green) are able to launch an immune response.
The cornea is the clear sheath that shields the eye from injury and foreign material. But a study published Tuesday in Cell Reports suggests the cornea is more than just a static physical barrier. Researchers in Australia showed that mouse corneas can harbor tissue-resident memory T cells to provide localized protection after encountering a pathogen. According to the study’s authors, the immune response from the cornea is limited, likely to prevent vision from being obscured.