Lymphocytes in the neighborhood: good or bad for the kidney?

J Clin Invest. 2022 Jul 1;132(13):e160657. doi: 10.1172/JCI160657.


Lupus nephritis (LN) is common in people with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and advances, almost invariably, to end-stage renal disease (ESRD). In this issue of the JCI, Abraham, Durkee, et al. presented a large-scale immune cell landscape of kidney biopsies from patients with LN by combining multiplexed confocal microscopy imaging with customized computer vision and quantification. The presence of diverse CD4- T cells in small neighborhoods, but not of B cells or CD4+ T cells in large neighborhoods, is linked to the development of ESRD. Unexpectedly, B cells in the kidney heralded a good prognosis. The precise location of different types of immune cells allows inference on possible interactions between different immune cells and also between immune and kidney-resident cells. The data have important implications on the development of prognostic tools and effective targeted therapies in patients with LN.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes
  • Humans
  • Kidney
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic*
  • Lupus Nephritis* / therapy
  • Lymphocyte Count