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Review
, 30 (3), 183-94

Macrophages in Kidney Injury, Inflammation, and Fibrosis

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Review

Macrophages in Kidney Injury, Inflammation, and Fibrosis

Qi Cao et al. Physiology (Bethesda).

Abstract

Macrophages are found in normal kidney and in increased numbers in diseased kidney, where they act as key players in renal injury, inflammation, and fibrosis. Macrophages are highly heterogeneous cells and exhibit distinct phenotypic and functional characteristics in response to various stimuli in the local microenvironment in different types of kidney disease. In kidney tissue necrosis and/or infection, damage- and/or pathogen-associated molecular patterns induce pro-inflammatory macrophages, which contribute to further tissue injury, inflammation, and subsequent fibrosis. Apoptotic cells and anti-inflammatory factors in post-inflammatory tissues induced anti-inflammatory macrophages, which can mediate kidney repair and regeneration. This review summarizes the role of macrophages with different phenotypes in kidney injury, inflammation, and fibrosis in various acute and chronic kidney diseases. Understanding alterations of kidney microenvironment and the factors that control the phenotype and functions of macrophages may offer an avenue for the development of new cellular and cytokine/growth factor-based therapies as alternative treatment options for patients with kidney disease.

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