Killer immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR) gene shows a high degree of polymorphism. Natural killer cell receptor gets activated once they bind to self-human leukocyte antigens (HLAs) with specific ligand. KIR gene and HLA ligand incompatibility due to the presence/absence of KIR in the recipient and the corresponding HLA ligand in the allograft may impact graft survival in solid organ transplantation. This study evaluates the effect of matches between KIR genes and known HLA ligands. KIR genotypes were determined using sequence specific primer polymerase chain reaction. Presence of certain KIR in a recipient, where the donor lacked the corresponding HLA ligand was considered a mismatch. The allograft was considered matched when both KIR receptor and HLA alloantigen reveald compatibility among recipient and donor. The data revealed better survival among individuals with matched inhibitory KIR receptors and their corresponding HLA ligands (KIR2DL2/DL3-HLAC2, KIR3DL1-HLABw4). On the contrary, no adverse effect was seen for matched activating KIR receptors and their corresponding HLA ligands. One of the activating gene KIR2DS4 showed risk (P = 0.0413, odds ratio = 1.91, 95% confidence interval = 1.02-3.57) association with renal allograft rejection. We conclude that the presence of inhibitory KIR gene leads to better survival; whereas activating motifs show no significant role in renal allograft survival.
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