Existing research suggests that the human immune system and immune cells are involved in the pathogenesis of nephrotic syndrome, but there is still a lack of direct evidence. This study tried to analyze the profiling of immune cells in the peripheral blood of steroid-sensitive nephrotic syndrome (SSNS) patients and steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome (SRNS) patients before and after standard steroid treatment to clarify the immunological mechanism of nephrotic syndrome patients. The number and proportion of CD4 + T cells in patients with nephrotic syndrome remained unchanged. However, there is an imbalance of Th1 and Th2 and an excessive increase of Th17 cells. The number of CD8 + T cells and the number of effector CD8 + T cells in them increased significantly, but only in SSNS, the number of activated CD8 + T cells increased, and the number of activated Treg cells decreased significantly. Nephrotic syndrome patients also have B cell disorder, and it is more prominent in SSNS patients. Compared with the normal control, only the number of B cells and plasmablast in SSNS patients increased significantly (Z = - 2.20, P = 0.028). This study also observed that transitional B cells decreased in both SSNS and SRNS patients, but SSNS patients' decrease was lower than in SRNS patients. Compared with normal controls, monocytes in patients with nephrotic syndrome decreased significantly. The main reason was that Non-classical Monocyte decreased, while Classical Monocyte increased slightly. The total number of NK cells did not change, but the internal cell subgroups' composition occurred. Changes, realized as CD56hi NK cells increased, CD56low NK cells decreased; and the above trend is more evident in SSNS patients. Patients with nephrotic syndrome have immune disorders, including T cells, B cells, Monocytes, and NK cells. It can be confirmed that immune factors are involved in the pathogenesis of the nephrotic syndrome.