Background: Killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR) are expressed on NK cells and a subset of T cells. The variable KIR receptors along with their ligands, HLA class I, influence risk for autoimmune and malignant diseases.
Objective: To investigate the KIR gene profiles in relation to susceptibility to Graves’ disease in patients with ophthalmopathy.
Methods: KIR genes profiles were analyzed in 90 patients presenting Graves’ disease with ophthalmopathy representing upper eyelid retraction, swelling, redness, conjunctivitis, and bulging eyes and were compared with the KIR gene profiles of 112 healthy controls. The presence and absence of 11 variable KIR genes were characterized using a gene-specific PCR typing system.
Results: There was no significant difference in the distribution of KIR gene profiles between patients and controls.
Conclusion: Our data show that none of the KIR genotypes contribute in susceptibility to Graves’ disease; although the role of HLA ligand remains to be characterized.