Blood–ocular barrier

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The blood–ocular barrier is a barrier created by endothelium of capillaries of the retina and iris, ciliary epithelium and retinal pigment epithelium.[1] It is a physical barrier between the local blood vessels and most parts of the eye itself, and stops many substances including drugs from traveling across it.[2] Inflammation can break down this barrier allowing drugs and large molecules to penetrate into the eye.[3] As the inflammation subsides, this barrier usually returns.

It consists of the following components:

  • Blood–aqueous barrier: the ciliary epithelium and capillaries of the iris.[2] Blood-aqueous barrier is formed by nonpigmented ciliary epithelial cells of the ciliary body and endothelial cells of blood vessels in the iris.
  • Blood–retinal barrier: non-fenestrated capillaries of the retinal circulation and tight-junctions between retinal epithelial cells preventing passage of large molecules from choriocapillaris into the retina. Formed by endothelium of retinal vessels and epithelium of retinal pigment. [4][5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Peiffer, Robert L.; Petersen-Jones, Simon M. (2001). Small animal ophthalmology: a problem-oriented approach. Elsevier Health Sciences. p. 46. ISBN 978-0-7020-2570-9.
  2. ^ a b Kramer, Axel; Behrens-Baumann, Wolfgang (2002). Antiseptic prophylaxis and therapy in ocular infections: principles, clinical practice, and infection control. Karger Publishers. p. 72. ISBN 978-3-8055-7316-0.
  3. ^ Giguère, Steeve; Prescott, John F.; Desmond Baggot, J. (2006). Antimicrobial therapy in veterinary medicine. Wiley-Blackwell. p. 366. ISBN 978-0-8138-0656-3.
  4. ^ Coscas, G.; Cunha-Vaz, J.; Loewenstein, A.; Soubrane, G. (2010). Macular Edema: A Practical Approach. Karger Publishers. p. 59. ISBN 978-3-8055-9434-9.
  5. ^ Maggs, David J.; Miller, Paul E.; Ofri, Ron; Slatter, Douglas H. (2008). Slatter's fundamentals of veterinary ophthalmology. Elsevier Health Sciences. p. 455. ISBN 978-0-7216-0561-6.