Type 2 diabetic nephropathy (DN) is the most common cause of end-stage renal disease and is increasingly considered as an inflammatory disease characterized by leukocyte infiltration at every stage of renal involvement. Inflammation and activation of the immune system are closely involved in the pathogenesis of diabetes and its microvascular complications. Macrophage has been well recognized to play an important role in type 2 DN, leukocyte infiltration, and participated in process of DN, as was proposed recently. Th1, Th2, Th17, T reg, and cytotoxic T cells are involved in the development and progression of DN. The purpose of this review is to assemble current information concerning the role of T cells in the development and progression of type 2 DN. Specific emphasis is placed on the potential interaction and contribution of the T cells to renal damage. The therapeutic strategies involving T cells in the treatment of type 2 DN are also reviewed. Improving knowledge of the recognition of T cells as significant pathogenic mediators in DN reinforces the possibility of new potential therapeutic targets translated into future clinical treatments. 1. Introduction Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a complex syndrome characterized by absolute or relative insulin deficiency leading to hyperglycemia and an altered metabolism of glucose, fat, and protein. These metabolic dysfunctions are pathologically associated with specific microvascular diseases and various characteristic long-term complications, including diabetic neuropathy, nephropathy, and retinopathy. Diabetic nephropathy (DN), affecting more than one third of patients with type 1 DM and up to 25% of all patients with type 2 DM, is an extremely common complication of DM that profoundly contributes to patient morbidity and mortality [1–4]. Diabetic nephropathy is a leading cause of chronic kidney disease, resulting in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) which has became a major problem facing human health worldwide [1–4]. Rapidly increasing rates of DM with profound consequences of DN are the primary reason for this worldwide increase. Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is characterized as pathological findings of hypertrophy of glomerular structures, thickening of the basement membrane, and accumulation of extracellular matrix (ECM) components. Multiple mechanisms contribute to the development and outcomes of DN, such as an interaction between metabolic abnormalities, hemodynamic changes, genetic predisposition and inflammatory milieu, and oxidative stress, constituting a continuous perpetuation of injury factors for the
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