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Rom J Intern Med. 2010;48(1):17-31.

Immune compartments of the nephron in relation to the immune system.

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Dept. of Nephrology, "Victor Babeş" University of Medicine and Pharmacy Timişoara, Romania.


The paper presents data regarding the compartmentalization of the nephron related to immune processes taking place at this level. The morphofunctional compartments of the nephron (glomerular, tubulo-interstitial and juxtaglomerular) become immune compartments during immune processes. The paper shows the immune cells located in the morphofunctional compartments of the nephron and the relationship between them. It is considered that the presence of immune cells in these compartments is a dynamic process; the number of infiltrating cells is reduced under physiological conditions and increases during pathological immune processes. The paper presents also the resident cells of the nephron and their immune capabilities. It also presents the professional immune cells originating in the bone marrow, which are involved in immune processes. The complex relationship between these cells by means of the cytokine network, chemokines as well as other mediators, as well as the role of immune receptors, mainly Toll-like receptors is outlined. During an immune aggression immune aggregates defined as tertiary lymphoid organs are formed at the level of the nephron. These lymphoid follicle-like structures might represent an intrarenal immune system. The compartmentalization of the nephron is part of the recently described concept of compartmentalization of the immune system.

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