Several innate immune response components were recognized as outcome predictors in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) and their causative role in disease pathogenesis was confirmed in animal models. In contrast, the role of adaptive immunity in ADPKD remains relatively unexplored. Therefore, we evaluated T cell populations in kidney and urine of ADPKD patients using flow cytometry and confocal immunofluorescence microscopy approaches. These analyses revealed ADPKD-associated overall increases in the number of intrarenal CD4 and CD8 T cells that were associated with a loss of polarity in distribution between the cortex and medulla (higher in medulla vs. cortex in controls). Also, the urinary T cell-based index correlated moderately with renal function decline in a small cohort of ADPKD patients. Together, these data suggest that similar to innate immune responses, T cells participate in ADPKD pathogenesis. They also point to urinary T cells as a novel candidate marker of the disease activity in ADPKD.
Keywords: Adaptive immunity; T cell subpopulations, eGFR; cystic kidney disease; urine biomarker.
© 2019 The Authors. Physiological Reports published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of The Physiological Society and the American Physiological Society.