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BMC Infect Dis. 2013 Sep 2;13:405. doi: 10.1186/1471-2334-13-405.

KIR3DS1/L1 and HLA-Bw4-80I are associated with HIV disease progression among HIV typical progressors and long-term nonprogressors.

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Key Laboratory of AIDS Immunology of Ministry of Health, Department of Laboratory Medicine, The First Affiliated Hospital, China Medical University, Shenyang 110001, P, R, China.



Natural killer (NK) cells have emerged as pivotal players in innate immunity, especially in the defense against viral infections and tumors. Killer immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs)--an important recognition receptor expressed on the surface of NK cells--regulate the inhibition and/or activation of NK cells after interacting with human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I ligands. Various KIR genes might impact the prognosis of many different diseases. The implications of KIR-HLA interaction in HIV disease progression remains poorly understood.


Here, we studied KIR genotypes, mRNA levels, HLA genotypes, CD4+ T cell counts and viral loads in our cohort of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)-infected individuals, a group that includes HIV long-term nonprogressors (LTNPs) and typical progressors (TPs).


We found that the frequency of KIR3DS1/L1 heterozygotes with HLA-Bw4-80I gene was much higher in LTNPs than in TPs (P = 0.001) and that the KIR3DL1 homozygotes without HLA-Bw4-80I gene had higher viral loads and lower CD4+ T cell counts (P = 0.014 and P = 0.021, respectively). Our study also confirmed that homozygosity for the HLA-Bw6 allele was associated with rapid disease progression. In addition to the aforementioned results on the DNA level, we observed that higher level expression of KIR3DS1 mRNA was in LTNP group, and that higher level expression of KIR3DL1 mRNA was in TP group.


Our data suggest that different KIR-HLA genotypes and different levels of transcripts associate with HIV disease progression.

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