Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

Expanding role of T cells in acute kidney injury

Kinsey, Gilbert R.; Okusa, Mark D.

Current Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension: January 2014 - Volume 23 - Issue 1 - p 9–16
doi: 10.1097/
CIRCULATION AND HEMODYNAMICS: Edited by Matthew R. Weir and Roland C. Blantz

Purpose of review Recent advances in T cell biology have shed light on the role of T cell subsets in the pathogenesis of acute kidney injury (AKI). The purpose of this review is to harness our understanding of recent advances in T cell biology in tissue injury and repair and provide a mechanistic insight into the role of T cells in the inflammation of AKI.

Recent findings New specific reagents and genetic animal models have led to advances in our understanding of the role of T cell subsets involved in renal injury. Whereas some T cells promote innate renal inflammation and injury, other T cells promote protection and repair. Recent studies illuminated the pathogenic mechanisms of invariant natural killer T (NKT) cells and T helper1-type responses, and the beneficial functions of regulatory T cells and NKT cells are just beginning to be explored. Pharmacologic and cell-based therapies that influence T cell responses to experimental AKI suggest that this is a promising approach to preserve renal function.

Summary The recent insights gained into how T cells modulate renal injury suggest that strategies targeting specific types of T cells, to either inhibit or enhance their activity, may ameliorate renal injury in patients.

Division of Nephrology and Center for Immunity, Inflammation and Regenerative Medicine, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA

Correspondence to Mark D. Okusa, MD, Division of Nephrology, Box 800133, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA. Tel: +1 434 924 2187; fax: +1 434 924 5848; e-mail:

Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.