Dendritic cells are not only the master regulators of adaptive immunity, but also participate profoundly in innate immune responses. Much has been learned about their basic immunological functions and their roles in various diseases. Comparatively little is still known about their role in renal disease, despite their obvious potential to affect immune responses in the kidney, and immune responses that are directed against renal components. Kidney dendritic cells form an abundant network in the renal tubulointerstitium and constantly survey the environment for signs of injury or infection, in order to alert the immune system to the need to initiate defensive action. Recent studies have identified a role for dendritic cells in several murine models of acute renal injury and chronic nephritis. Here we summarize the current knowledge on the role of kidney dendritic cells that has been obtained from the study of murine models of renal disease
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