Distribution and density of conjunctival goblet cells

Med Pregl. 2002 May-Jun;55(5-6):195-200. doi: 10.2298/mpns0206195v.
[Article in English, Croatian]


There is a regional variation in conjunctival goblet cell distribution and density per unit of measurement. By secreting mucin goblet cells are involved in formation of tear film. Tear film instability is the basic sign of dry eye syndrome. Although dry eye syndrome can be a side effect of a disease, the most common cause is normal aging. The objective of the research was to determine goblet cell density in bulbar and lower forniceal conjunctiva and possible changes in goblet cell density related to age and sex. The research was conducted on 30 conjunctival samples of patients with no clinical changes of the conjunctiva. Tissue sections were stained with hematoxylin eosin (HE), periodic acid-schiff (PAS), alcian blue (AB)/PAS, Giemsa methods. Goblet cell density was 1.24 +/- 1.62 in bulbar conjunctiva and 30.21 +/- 14.32 in lower forniceal conjunctiva. Goblet cell distribution in the conjunctiva was unequal. A correlation between goblet cell density and age was not determined. Goblet cell density doesn't decrease with aging. No significant difference in goblet cell density between men and women was established.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cell Count
  • Conjunctiva / cytology*
  • Female
  • Goblet Cells / cytology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reference Values