Immature renal dendritic cells recruit regulatory CXCR6(+) invariant natural killer T cells to attenuate crescentic GN.
Immature renal dendritic cells (DCs) are protective early in murine crescentic GN, but the mechanisms underlying this protection are unknown. Here, depletion of DCs reduced the recruitment of invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells, which attenuate GN, into the kidney in the early stage of experimental crescentic GN. More than 90% of renal iNKT cells expressed the chemokine receptor CXCR6, and renal DCs produced high amounts of the cognate ligand CXCL16 early after induction of nephritis, suggesting that renal DC-derived CXCL16 might attract protective CXCR6(+) iNKT cells. Consistent with this finding, CXCR6-deficient mice exhibited less iNKT cell recruitment and developed nephritis that was more severe, similar to the aggravated nephritis observed in mice depleted of immature DCs. Finally, adoptive transfer of CXCR6-competent NKT cells ameliorated nephritis. Taken together, these results suggest an immunoprotective mechanism involving immature DCs, CXCL16, CXCR6, and regulatory iNKT cells, which might stimulate the development of new therapeutic strategies for GN.