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Anatomy and Physiology of the Nasolacrimal Ducts

  • Friedrich Paulsen

1.4 Conclusions

The human efferent tear ducts are part of the lacrimal system. They consist of the upper and the lower lacrimal canaliculus, the lacrimal sac, and the nasolacrimal duct. As a draining and secretory system, the nasolacrimal ducts play a decisive role in tear transport and nonspecific immune defense. In this context the integrity of the mucosa as source of mucins and trefoil factor family peptides is of great importance with regard to tear drainage. Moreover, components of tear fluid are absorbed by the epithelium of the nasolacrimal passage and are transported into a surrounding vascular system. This system is comparable to a cavernous body that is subject to autonomic control and regulates tear outflow. Tear duct-associated lymphoid tissue (TALT) is present in the efferent tear ducts, displaying the cytomorphological and immunophenotypic features of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT).

Keywords

Ocular Surface Lacrimal Gland Nasolacrimal Duct Meibomian Gland Lacrimal Duct 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Friedrich Paulsen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Anatomy and Cell BiologyMartin Luther University of Halle-WittenbergHalle (Saale)Germany

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