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Disease-association of different killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR) and HLA-C gene combinations in reactive arthritis



Disease-association of different killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR) and HLA-C gene combinations in reactive arthritis



Modern Rheumatology 2018: 1-7



Reactive arthritis (ReA) is sterile arthritis triggered by bacterial gastrointestinal or urogenital infections. Although the pathogenesis of ReA remains unclear, genetic factors seem to play an important role. Different killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) and their corresponding specific histocompatibility leukocyte antigen-C (HLA-C) ligand genotypes have been implicated in susceptibility and resistance to infections and autoimmune diseases but have, thus far, not been investigated in ReA. This study was conducted in 138 ReA patients (65 females, 73 males); aged 18-69 years (mean, 37 years) and 151 randomly selected healthy control individuals matched for ethnicity, age and sex. These subjects were genotyped for KIR genes and HLA-C alleles by polymerase chain reaction with sequence-specific primers. The frequencies of inhibitory KIR2DL2 and KIR2DL5 were significantly lower in the ReA patients than in the controls (p = .005 and p = .033, respectively). The presence of more than seven inhibitory KIR genes was protective (p = .016). Moreover, we found that activating KIR2DS1 alone or in combination with the HLA-C1C1 genotype (which indicates the absence of the HLA ligands for their homologous inhibitory receptor KIR2DL1) is associated with susceptibility to ReA (p = .039 and p = .011, respectively), whereas KIR2DL2 in combination with the HLA-C1 ligand is associated with protection against ReA (p = .039). These observations indicate that high levels of activating and low levels of inhibitory KIR signals may affect the functions of NK cells and T cells. This imbalance enables the innate and adaptive immune responses of the host to be easily triggered by pathogens, resulting in the overproduction of local and systemic cytokines that contribute to the pathogenesis of ReA.

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Accession: 058427219

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PMID: 29848119

DOI: 10.1080/14397595.2018.1483292


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