Review Article

Novel insights into NOD-like receptors in renal diseases

Juan Jin1,2, Tao-jie Zhou3, Gui-ling Ren4, Liang Cai1, Xiao-ming Meng1
1 Inflammation and Immune Mediated Diseases Laboratory of Anhui Province, Anhui Institute of Innovative Drugs, School of Pharmacy, Anhui Medical University, The Key Laboratory of Anti-Inflammatory of Immune Medicines, Ministry of Education, Hefei 230032, China
2 School of Basic Medicine, Anhui Medical University, Hefei 230032, China
3 Second Clinical Medical College, Anhui Medical University, Hefei 230032, China
4 Department of Pharmacy, The 901 Hospital of Chinese People’s Liberation Army Joint Service Support Unit, Hefei 230031, China
Correspondence to: Xiao-ming Meng:,
DOI: 10.1038/s41401-022-00886-7
Received: 12 October 2021
Accepted: 7 February 2022
Advance online: 1 April 2022


Nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptors (NLRs), including NLRAs, NLRBs (also known as NAIPs), NLRCs, and NLRPs, are a major subfamily of pattern recognition receptors (PRRs). Owing to a recent surge in research, NLRs have gained considerable attention due to their involvement in mediating the innate immune response and perpetuating inflammatory pathways, which is a central phenomenon in the pathogenesis of multiple diseases, including renal diseases. NLRs are expressed in different renal tissues during pathological conditions, which suggest that these receptors play roles in acute kidney injury, obstructive nephropathy, diabetic nephropathy, IgA nephropathy, lupus nephritis, crystal nephropathy, uric acid nephropathy, and renal cell carcinoma, among others. This review summarises recent progress on the functions of NLRs and their mechanisms in the pathophysiological processes of different types of renal diseases to help us better understand the role of NLRs in the kidney and provide a theoretical basis for NLR-targeted therapy for renal diseases.
Keywords: NOD-like receptors; innate immunity; inflammasome; renal disease

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