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Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 2011 Nov;27(8):872-7. doi: 10.1002/dmrr.1264.

Killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptor along with HLA-C ligand genes are associated with type 1 diabetes in Chinese Han population.

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Department of Pediatric, Endocrinology and Inherited Metabolic Disease, Children's Hospital of Fudan University, Shanghai, China.



Killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR) genes and their putative ligands human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-C genes have been associated with type 1 diabetes (T1D). We hypothesize that KIR genes and their ligands HLA-C genes are important in T1D aetiology.


KIR and HLA-C ligand genotyping was performed in 259 T1D patients and 262 healthy children.


No significant difference was observed in the distribution of KIR genes between T1D patients and healthy controls. However, frequency of HLA-C1 gene and HLA-C2 gene (marginal association) was higher in patient group. The combinations 2DL2-/HLA-C1+; 2DL3+/HLA-C1+; 2DS2-/HLAC1+ were positively associated with T1D. The combinations 2DL1+/HLA-C2-; 2DL2-/HLA-C1-; 2DL3+/HLA-C1-; 2DS2-/HLAC1- were found to be negatively associated with T1D. Among the genes we tested, a combination of HLA-C1 and -C2 conferred the strongest association with T1D and the strength of this association was higher than that of HLA-C1 alone. The frequencies of KIR 2DL1, 2DL2 and 2DL3 and HLA-C1 were higher in T1D patients positive for GAD65 autoantibody; frequency of KIR 2DS4 is higher in T1D patients positive for IA-2 autoantibody. The association between KIR/HLA-C gene and autoantibody status was not statistically significant after applying Bonferroni correction.


In our study of a Han population (East China), we found no direct association of KIR genes with T1D. However, a combination of HLA-C1 and -C2 showed a positive association with T1D. Different combinations of HLA-C and KIR showed positive and negative association with T1D.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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