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Diabetes. 2003 Oct;52(10):2639-42.

KIR in type 1 diabetes: disparate distribution of activating and inhibitory natural killer cell receptors in patients versus HLA-matched control subjects.

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  • 1Department of Immunohaematology & Blood Transfusion, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Abstract

Killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) modulate natural killer cell and T-cell function by interacting with HLA class 1 ligands on target cells. Both KIR and HLA are highly polymorphic. We studied the influence of KIR and HLA class 1 genes on the susceptibility to develop type 1 diabetes. The results showed increased numbers of activating KIR genes in patients compared with control subjects (P = 0.049). The combination of the activating KIR2DS2 gene, together with its putative HLA ligand, was present more frequently in patients than in diabetes high-risk HLA-matched control subjects (P = 0.030). Moreover, our results imply that an increase in activating KIR2DS2-HLA ligand pairs combined with a lack of inhibitory KIR-HLA ligand pairs is associated with an additional risk to develop type 1 diabetes in individuals with diabetes high-risk HLA alleles (P = 0.035). We propose that the genetic imbalance between KIR and their HLA class 1 ligands may enhance the activation of T-cells with a low affinity for pancreatic self-antigens, thereby contributing to the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes.

PMID:
14514651
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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