Conjunctival biopsies from patients with systemic mucopolysaccharidoses and macular corneal dystrophy and from normal subjects were examined histologically and ultrastructurally. In the subepithelial connective tissue, plasma cells were commonly present, which were usually unassociated with other inflammatory cells. In several cases, plasma cells exhibited Russell bodies as large, electrondense inclusions within dilated cisternae of rough-surfaced endoplasmic reticulum. The association of these cells with specific diseases and their histopathologic significance remains unclear, but the possibility that conjunctival plasma cells and Russell bodies are components of a localized secretory immune system exists.
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