Plasma cell content of main and accessory lacrimal glands and conjunctiva

Am J Ophthalmol. 1976 Dec;82(6):819-26. doi: 10.1016/0002-9394(76)90056-8.


The size, weight, and plasma cell content of main and accessory lacrimal glands were examined and compared to the number of plasma cells in the conjunctiva. There were from four to 35 accessory lacrimal glands in the upper conjunctiva and a rare accessory gland in the lower conjunctiva. The total accessory gland mass was approximately one tenth of the lacrimal gland mass although the number of plasma cells was approximately 1/20 of the mass. The number of plasma-cells in the lacrimal gland was estimated to be 3,200,000; in the conjunctiva, 2,100,000; and for the accessory glands, 180,000. Because of the many plasma cells in the relatively inaccessible lacrimal gland, cells of the lymphatic series may home to the lacrimal gland by non-antigenic mechanisms.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cell Count
  • Conjunctiva / cytology*
  • Humans
  • Lacrimal Apparatus / anatomy & histology
  • Lacrimal Apparatus / cytology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Organ Size
  • Plasma Cells*