Acute kidney injury (AKI) is manifested by inflammation, and an early feature in the pathogenesis
is the accumulation of immune cells in the kidney. Natural killer T (NKT) cells, a peculiar T
cells subtype, serve as a bridge between innate and adaptive immunity. Due to the difference between
type I and type II subsets, NKT cells were supposed to play a dual role in IR-related tissue injury. Furthermore,
membrane receptors and clinical immunosuppressive agents remain involved in the modulation
of NKT cell function. Therefore, regulation of the amount and viability of NKT cells becomes a
potential strategy in amelioration of AKI. This review will highlight the recent insights gained into the
role and mechanisms of NKT cells in AKI.
Keywords: NKT cells, inflammation, acute kidney injury, angel or evil, pathogenesis, immunity.
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