Renal infiltration with macrophages and monocytes is a well-recognized feature of not only immune, but also nonimmune kidney disease. This review focuses on the investigations that have shown accumulation of immunocompetent cells in experimental models of acute and chronic ischemia, protein overload, hypercholesterolemia, renal ablation, obstructive uropathy, polycystic kidney disease, diabetes, aging, murine hypertension, and nephrotoxicity. We examine the mechanisms of infiltration of immunocompetent cells and their participation in the self-perpetuating cycle of activation of the angiotensin system, generation of reactive oxygen species, and further recruitment of monocytes and lymphocytes. We also discuss the possibility of antigen-dependent and antigen-independent mechanisms of immune cell activation in these animal models. Finally, we review the recent studies in which suppression of cellular immunity with mycophenolate mofetil has proven beneficial in attenuating or preventing the progression of renal functional and histologic damage in experimental conditions of nonimmune nature.