In liver transplantion, rejection is still an important problem, and the role of human leukocyte antigens (HLA) has not been clearly established. At present, the possible involvement of HLA-C antigen in liver transplantation is still unexplored. The aim of this work was to analyze the influence of HLA-C polymorphism on the outcome of liver transplantation. For this purpose, genotyping of 100 orthotopic liver transplant recipient-donor pairs for HLA-C was performed with polymerase chain reaction–sequence-specific primers (PCR-SSPs). Liver recipients were stratified according to the occurrence of acute rejection. Patients without acute rejection were found to have a lower frequency of the HLA-Cw*06 allele compared with those with acute rejection or the control group. Moreover, when the role of HLA-C dimorphism was analyzed, natural killer (NK)1-alloantigens were found to be predominant in recipients without acute rejection. When the match of HLA-C single alleles and NK-alloantigens between donor and recipient was analyzed, it appeared that the frequency of acute rejection gradually decreased with decrease of the number of allele mismatches. Graft survival was increased when the number of mismatches in both HLA-C or NK-alloantigens was lower. In conclusion, the HLA-C locus may play a role in liver graft alloreactivity or allotolerance and, therefore, may be useful to avoid acute rejection and to achieve graft acceptance, resulting in a better final outcome in liver transplantation.
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