The Critical Role of Innate Immunity in Kidney Transplantation

David Cucchiari, Manuel Alfredo Podestà, Claudio Ponticelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


For a long time now, kidney transplant rejection has been considered the consequence of either cellular or antibody-mediated reaction as a part of adaptive immunity response. The role of innate immunity, on the other hand, had been unclear for many years and was thought to be only ancillary. There is now consistent evidence that innate immune response is a condition necessary to activate the machinery of rejection. In this setting, the communication between antigen-presenting cells and T lymphocytes is of major importance. Indeed, T cells are unable to cause rejection if innate immunity is not activated. This field is currently being explored and several experiments in animal models have proved that blocking innate immunity activation can promote tolerance of the graft instead of rejection. The aim of this review is to systematically describe all the steps of innate immunity response in kidney transplant rejection, from antigen recognition to T-cells activation, with a focus on clinical consequences and possible future perspectives.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Feb 26 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Nephrology
  • Urology
  • Physiology (medical)


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