We review the growth factor receptor-mediated cell signaling events that induce the responses required for the maintenance of corneal epithelial health. Our focus is to show how such responses contribute to sustaining corneal transparency and deturgescence, so basic to the pathogenesis of corneal diseases. Furthermore, we point out how alterations of receptor-mediated control of these responses account for losses in corneal transparency. In particular, the roles of growth factors in the mediation of normal corneal function, including epithelial cell proliferation, prevention of compromise of the barrier function of the cornea, and maintenance of normal renewal processes are discussed in relation to clinical entities involving the cornea.
Corneal epithelium; Intercellular signaling peptides and proteins; Cytokines; Dry eye syndromes; Wound healing