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Int J Immunogenet. 2011 Oct;38(5):403-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-313X.2011.01024.x. Epub 2011 Jul 29.

KIR3DL1+HLA-B Bw4Ile80 and KIR2DS1+HLA-C2 combinations are both associated with ankylosing spondylitis in the Iranian population.

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Division of Transplant Immunology and Immunogenetics, Department of Immunology, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Contribution of killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR) and their human leucocyte antigen (HLA) class I ligands in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases has been shown in several studies. In this study, the possible association of KIR genes, their known HLA ligands and compound KIR/HLA genotypes with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) was assessed. Combined KIR/HLA ligand genotyping was performed by a polymerase chain reaction-sequence-specific primers assay in 35 Iranian patients with AS, and genotypes were compared to those in 200 healthy individuals. The frequencies of telomeric cluster genes KIR2DL5A, KIR2DS1 and KIR3DS1 were significantly increased in AS patient group (P(c) = 0.0082, P(c) = 0.0195 and P(c) = 0.0328, respectively). Conversely, HLA-Bw4 ligand (the presence of one or more -B Bw4(Ile80) , -B Bw4(Thr80) and -A Bw4 epitopes) (P(c) = 0.0004) and HLA-B Bw4(Ile80) (P(c) = 0.053) were less frequent in these patients. Meanwhile, compound KIR/HLA genotype analyses revealed lower frequency of KIR3DL1+HLA-B Bw4(Ile80) (P(c)  = 0.0343) and higher frequency of KIR2DS1+HLA-C2 (P(c) = 0.0308) combinations in patients with AS than in controls. In addition, the genotypes iKIR+HLA > aKIR+HLA (P(c) = .0308) and iKIR+HLA > aKIR (P(c) = 0.0258) were statistically less common, and genotypes iKIR+HLA = aKIR+HLA (P(c) = 0.0081) and iKIR+HLA < aKIR (P(c) = 0.077) were more common in patient group. Our findings suggest a role for excessive or inappropriate NK cell activation through 'KIR/HLA' system in AS disease.

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