Donor and recipient HLA/KIR genotypes do not predict liver transplantation outcome

Viviana Moroso, A (Astrid) van der Meer, Hugo Tilanus, G Kazemier, Luc van der Laan, Herold Metselaar, I Joosten, Jaap Kwekkeboom

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Whether or not Natural Killer (NK) cells affect the immune response to solid organ allografts is still controversial. Main determinants of NK-cell activation are specific HLA/killer-cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR) interactions that, in transplantation, may induce NK-cell alloreactivity. So far, in liver transplantation (LTX) donor-versus-recipient alloreactivity has not been investigated; in addition, studies of predicted recipient-versus-donor NK-cell alloreactivity have led to contradicting results. We typed a cohort of LTX donors and recipients for HLA-C/Bw4 and KIRs. We estimated the effect of NK-cell alloreactivity, as predicted by classically used models, in the donor-versus-recipient direction. The results indicate that HLA/KIR mismatches in the donor-versus-recipient direction do not predict graft rejection nor graft or patient survival, suggesting that donor-derived NK cells do not play a major role in LTX outcome. In addition, when considering predicted NK-cell alloreactivity in the reverse direction (recipient-versus-donor), we first confirmed that donor HLA-C genotype was not associated with acute rejection, graft or patient survival and secondly we found that none of the models describing NK-cell alloreactivity could predict LTX outcome. Overall our observations suggest that, in contrast to what is shown in haematopoietic stem cell transplantation, donor-derived NK cells may not contribute in preventing liver graft rejection, and that recipient-versus-donor NK-cell alloreactivity does not predict LTX outcome.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)932-942
Number of pages11
JournalTransplant International
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Research programs

  • EMC MM-03-47-02-A
  • EMC MM-04-20-01
  • EMC MM-04-20-02-A
  • EMC MM-04-47-07

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