T lymphocytes: The "cellular" arm of acquired immunity in the peritoneum

Amir Glik, Amos Douvdevani

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


T cells are an important part of the acquired immune response and target specific antigen with their T cell receptor. The peritoneum is a special milieu within which T cells react. We describe briefly the anatomy important for T cell function. T cell biology including antigen presentation, T cell activation, and the different T cell subpopulations are reviewed. We also define innate and acquired immunity and describe the role of polymorphonuclear cells and peritoneal mesothelial cells in the regulation of leukocyte population recruitment during peritonitis. We focus particularly on peritoneal lymphocytes and compare them to the regular lymphocyte populations in the circulation. We illustrate the role of PMCs in antigen presentation and discuss the changes of CD4+ helper T cell subtypes (Th1 and Th2) during peritoneal dialysis. The role of CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes and their possible destructive role for the peritoneal membrane modified by advanced glycation end products are discussed. Polymorphonuclear cells play an important role in the regulation of inflammation and immunity. We describe their possible role in supporting T cells and particularly for generating memory CD8+ T cells by secretion of interleukin-15, a potent T cell growth factor. Light is shed on γδ T cells, a special T cell population that is able to recognize antigens without the restriction of antigen presentation. We end our review with a description of regulatory T cells. This cell population is extremely important in preventing autoimmunity and in the regulation of acquired immunity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)438-448
Number of pages11
JournalPeritoneal Dialysis International
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2006


  • Acquired immunity
  • Antigen presentation
  • Mesothelial cells
  • Peritoneum
  • T cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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