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.

, , ,
doi.org/10.1111/j.1432-2277.2011.01286.x, hdl.handle.net/1765/31120
Transplant International
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Moroso, V., van der Meer, A., Tilanus, H., Kazemier, G., van der Laan, L., Metselaar, H., … Kwekkeboom, J. (2011). Donor and recipient HLA/KIR genotypes do not predict liver transplantation outcome. Transplant International, 24(9), 932–942. doi:10.1111/j.1432-2277.2011.01286.x