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Corneal transplantation is the oldest and the most common form of solid tissue transplantation in humans. Immunologic graft rejection is one of the main causes of short and long-term graft failure. Rejection involves donor tissue recognition and destruction by allo-specific immune cells of the recipient. This review outlines (1) the immunobiology of transplantation, with reference to ocular immune privilege, (2) factors that confer “high-risk” status to a graft and (3) the pathophysiologic mechanisms of corneal transplant rejection.