Recent advances in preclinical modeling of urinary tract infections (UTIs) have enabled the identification of key facets of the host response that influence pathogen clearance and tissue damage. Here, we review new insights into the functions of neutrophils, macrophages, and antimicrobial peptides in innate control of uropathogens and in mammalian infection-related tissue injury and repair. We also discuss novel functions for renal epithelial cells in innate antimicrobial defense. In addition, epigenetic modifications during bacterial cystitis have been implicated in bladder remodeling, conveying susceptibility to recurrent UTI. In total, contemporary work in this arena has better defined host processes that shape UTI susceptibility and severity and might inform the development of novel preventive and therapeutic approaches for acute and recurrent UTI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)701-711
Number of pages11
JournalTrends in Immunology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2023


  • Escherichia coli
  • antimicrobial peptides
  • epigenetic remodeling
  • innate immunity
  • macrophages
  • neutrophils
  • pyelonephritis


Dive into the research topics of 'Immune defenses in the urinary tract'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this