Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a systemic disease characterized by acute loss of renal function
and accumulation of end products of nitrogen metabolism. Ischemic AKI is the most common
cause of AKI, and inflammatory responses are inevitablely involved in ischemic AKI. In the process of
ischemic AKI, multiple factors are involved in activating and recruitment of immune cell to the injured
kidney. These factors include DAMPs and HIFs released from the injured kidney, increased expression
of adhesion molecules, the production of chemokines and cytokines, activation of complement system
and TLRs as well as the permeability dysfunction of the renal vascular endothelium. Immune cells of
both the innate and adaptive immune systems, such as neutrophils, dendritic cells, macrophages and
lymphocytes contribute to the pathogenesis of renal injury after ischemia reperfusion injury (IRI), with
some of their subpopulations also participating in the repair process. Numerous studies of immune cells
involved in the pathogenesis of AKI have enhanced the understanding of their possible mechanisms in
AKI which might become the potential targets for the treatment of ischemic AKI. This review describes
the function of the immune cells in the pathogenesis and repair of ischemic AKI and emphasizes the
treatment of ischemic AKI potentially targeting them.
Keywords: Ischemic, acute kidney injury, immune cells, renal function, chemokines, cytokines.
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