University of Oulu

Rytkönen, S.H., Kulmala, P., Autio-Harmainen, H. et al. FOXP3+ T cells are present in kidney biopsy samples in children with tubulointerstitial nephritis and uveitis syndrome. Pediatr Nephrol 33, 287–293 (2018) doi:10.1007/s00467-017-3796-z

FOXP3⁺ T cells are present in kidney biopsy samples in children with tubulointerstitial nephritis and uveitis syndrome

Saved in:
Author: Rytkönen, Sari H.1; Kulmala, Petri1,2; Autio-Harmainen, Helena3;
Organizations: 1PEDEGO Research Unit and Medical Research Center (MRC) Oulu, University of Oulu and Oulu University Hospital, Box 23, 90029 OYS, Oulu, Finland
2Biomedicine Research Unit, Clinical Microbiology and Immunology, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Cancer and Translational Medicine Research Unit, University of Oulu, and Department of Pathology, Oulu University Hospital, Box 50, 90029 OYS, Oulu, Finland
4Department of Pediatrics, University of Eastern-Finland and Kuopio University Hospital, Box 100, 70029 KYS, Kuopio, Finland
5Department of Pediatrics, Tampere University Hospital, Box 2000, 33521 TAYS, Tampere, Finland
6Department of Pediatric Nephrology and Transplantation, Children’s Hospital, Helsinki University Hospital and Helsinki University, Stenbäckinkatu 11, Box 281, 00029, Helsinki, Finland
7Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Turku University Hospital, Box 51, 20520 TYKS, Turku, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.3 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2018
Publish Date: 2020-01-13


Background: Tubulointerstitial nephritis (TIN) is an inflammatory disease of unknown pathogenesis. To evaluate a possible role of regulatory T cells (Tregs) in the pathophysiology of TIN with (TINU) and without uveitis, we investigated the presence and quantity of FOXP3⁺ T regulatory lymphocytes in diagnostic kidney biopsies from pediatric patients.

Methods: A total of 33 patients (14 TIN and 19 TINU) were enrolled. The quantity of CD4⁺, FOXP3⁺ and double-positive T cells in formalin-fixed kidney biopsies was determined using double label immunohistochemistry with anti-human CD4 and FOXP3 antibodies.

Results: FOXP3 staining was successful in all 33 patients. In patients with chronic uveitis, the density of FOXP3⁺ cells was significantly lower (p = 0.046) than in TIN patients without uveitis or with uveitis lasting <3 months. CD4+ staining was successful in 23 patients. The density of all lymphocytes (CD4⁺, CD4⁺FOXP3⁺ and FOXP3⁺ cells) was significantly lower (p = 0.023) in patients with chronic uveitis than in other patients.

Conclusions: FOXP3⁺ T cells are present in kidney biopsy samples from TIN and TINU patients. In patients with chronic uveitis, the density of FOXP3⁺ T cells is significantly lower than in other patients, suggesting a different pathomechanism for these clinical conditions.

see all

Series: Pediatric nephrology
ISSN: 0931-041X
ISSN-E: 1432-198X
ISSN-L: 0931-041X
Volume: 33
Issue: 2
Pages: 287 - 293
DOI: 10.1007/s00467-017-3796-z
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3123 Gynaecology and paediatrics
3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
Funding: This study has been supported by the Foundation for Pediatric Research, Finnish Medical Foundation, the Sigrid Juselius Foundation, and the Alma and K.A. Snellman Foundation, Oulu, Finland.
Copyright information: © PNA 2017. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Pediatric nephrology. The final authenticated version is available online at: