There is definitive experimental proof that a lattice of dendritic cells (DC) exist within the renal parenchyma. Kidney-resident DC (KDC) are an important constituent of passenger leucocytes that initiate the direct component of allograft rejection in transplantation and form a central element of the innate immune response following injurious stimuli to the kidney. DC are recruited to the kidney in pathophysiological states such as glomerulonephritis and ischaemia-reperfusion injury. However, the exact mechanism for engaging and attracting DC to infectious and transplant antigens, and whether specific DC subsets are involved remains unresolved. In addition, the extent to which resident and infiltrating DC contribute to the propagation of injury or rejection is also unclear. Despite consistently expanding published work regarding DC location, phenotype and function, there are a number of deficiencies in our knowledge base, particularly in relation to KDC.