Lower urinary tract infections are among the most common human bacterial infections, but extension to the kidneys is rare. This has been attributed to mechanical forces, such as urine flow, that prevent the ascent of bladder microbes. Here, we show that the regional hypersalinity, required for the kidney's urine-concentrating function, instructs epithelial cells to produce chemokines that localize monocyte-derived mononuclear phagocytes (MNPs) to the medulla. This hypersaline environment also increases the intrinsic bactericidal and neutrophil chemotactic activities of MNPs to generate a zone of defense. Because MNP positioning and function are dynamically regulated by the renal salt gradient, we find that patients with urinary concentrating defects are susceptible to kidney infection. Our work reveals a critical accessory role for the homeostatic function of a vital organ in optimizing tissue defense.
SciCrunch is a data sharing and display platform. Anyone can create a custom portal where they can select searchable subsets of hundreds of data sources, brand their web pages and create their community. SciCrunch will push data updates automatically to all portals on a weekly basis. User communities can also add their own data to SciCrunch, however this is not currently a free service.