Lupus nephritis (LN) is a major clinical manifestation of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Although numerous abnormalities of immune system have been proposed, cytokine overexpression plays an essential role in the pathogenesis of LN. In the initial phase of the disease, the immune deposits and/or autoantibodies induce cytokine production in renal resident cells, leading to further inflammatory cytokine/chemokine expression and leukocyte infiltration and activation. Then, infiltrate leukocytes, such as macrophages (Mφ) and dendritic cells (DCs), secrete a variety of cytokines and activate naïve T cells, leading the cytokine profile towards T helper (Th)1, Th2, and/or Th17. Recent studies revealed these inflammatory processes in experimental animal models as well as human LN. The cytokine targeted intervention may have the therapeutic potentials for LN. This paper focuses on the expression of cytokine and its functional role in the pathogenesis of LN.