Immunosenescence involves a series of ageing-induced alterations in the immune system and is characterized by two opposing hallmarks: defective immune responses and increased systemic inflammation. The immune system is modulated by intrinsic and extrinsic factors and undergoes profound changes in response to the ageing process. Immune responses are therefore highly age-dependent.
Emerging data show that immunosenescence underlies common mechanisms responsible for several age-related diseases and is a plastic state that can be modified and accelerated by non-heritable environmental factors and pharmacological intervention. In the kidney, resident macrophages and fibroblasts are continuously exposed to components of the external environment, and the effects of cellular reprogramming induced by local immune responses, which accumulate with age, might have a role in the increased susceptibility to kidney disease among elderly individuals.
Additionally, because chronic kidney disease, especially end-stage renal disease, is often accompanied by immunosenescence, which affects these patients independently of age, and many kidney diseases are strongly age-associated, treatment approaches that target immunosenescence might be particularly clinically relevant.