Goblet Cells, Mucin Tear Secretion by
Cells recognized as a source of mucus for the tear-film complex.
Conjunctival goblet cells appear in histological sections as oval-shaped cells containing rich amounts of intracytoplasmic mucus (Doughty 2012). Cytoplasmic staining is characteristically periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) positive, reflecting the high density of glycosylated glycoproteins within these cells (Doughty 2012). Goblet cell location varies depending on their degree of maturation with more mature cells residing near the apical surface of the conjunctival epithelium; the distribution of goblet cells is related to differences in exposure, with cell numbers being higher in the superior and inferior bulbar conjunctiva compared to the interpalpebral conjunctiva (Doughty 2012).