Killer Cells and Autism – Immune System

Activating killer-cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR) and their cognate HLA ligands are significantly increased in autism.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22884899

Abstract

Killer-cell immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR) proteins are expressed on natural killer (NK) cells and appear important in innate and adaptive immunity. There are about 14 KIR genes on chromosome 19q13.4, composed of those that inhibit and those that activate NK cell killing. Haplotypes have different combinations of these genes meaning that not all genes are present in a subject. There are two main classes of cognate human leukocyte antigen (HLA) ligands (HLA-Bw4 and HLA-C1/C2) that bind to the inhibitory/activating receptors. As a general rule, the inhibitory state is maintained except when virally infected or tumor cells are encountered; however, both increased activation and inhibition states have been associated with susceptibility and protection against numerous disease states including cancer, arthritis, and psoriasis. Utilizing DNA from 158 Caucasian subjects with autism and 176 KIR control subjects we show for the first time a highly significant increase in four activating KIR genes (2DS5, 3DS1, 2DS1 and 2DS4) as measured by chi square values and odds ratios. In addition, our data suggests a highly significant increase in the activating KIR gene 2DS1 and its cognate HLA-C2 ligand (2DS1+C2; p=0.00003 [Odds ratio=2.87]). This information ties together two major immune gene complexes, the human leukocyte complex and the leukocyte receptor complex, and may partially explain immune abnormalities observed in many subjects with autism.

This entry was posted in Autism, co-morbid, Environment, Immune System, Inflammation, Neurology, Physiology, Schizophrenia, Treatment and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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