This study examined and characterized the distribution and kinetics of the inflammatory cell response to pseudomonas ocular challenge in susceptible C57BL/6J and resistant DBA/2J mice. Initially, in the cornea, the number of neutrophilic leukocytes (PMNs), macrophages/monocytes or lymphocytes was 2–2.5 times greater in resistant versus susceptible mice. The peak cellular response in the cornea was also greater in resistant than in susceptible animals. Further, resistant mice, when compared with susceptible mice, had a shorter duration of inflammatory cells as well as bacteria in the cornea. These data were similar for the cell infiltrate in the anterior chamber, with the exception that PMNs were initially greater in number in C57BL/6J than in DBA/2J mice. Collectively these data suggest that susceptible mice are, in general, cellularly hyporesponsive to pseudomonas ocular challenge when compared with resistant animals. This, together with persistence of inflammatory cells and bacteria in the cornea of susceptible animals, may contribute to their failure to restore corneal clarity following pseudomonas ocular challenge.