Rapidity of fibrosis progression in liver transplant recipients with recurrent hepatitis C is influenced by toll-like receptor 3 polymorphism

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Liver transplantation activates the innate immune system through toll-like receptors (TLRs), potentially leading to allograft rejection and graft failure. We evaluated the association of single-nucleotide polymorphisms in TLR genes with the severity of hepatitis C virus recurrence after liver transplantation (LT). This is a two-center study of 176 adult patients who received a first LT from deceased donors for hepatitis C virus (HCV) cirrhosis. Eleven polymorphisms were evaluated by real-time polymerase chain reaction and melting curves analyses: TLR1 (Asp248Ser and Ser602Ile), TLR2 (Arg753Gln), TLR3 (Leu412Phe), TLR4 (Asp299Gly), TLR5 (Arg392Stop), TLR6 (Ser249Pro), TLR7 (Gln11Leu), TLR8 (Met1Val), and TLR9 (−1237T/C and −1486C/T). The CC genotype of TLR3 Leu412Phe in liver recipients was associated with severe recurrence (odds ratio (OR) = 2.01, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) = 1.02-3.93, p = 0.04). We also analyzed this polymorphism in 72 of their donors but no association was found with severity of HCV recurrence (p = 0.89). Multivariate analysis showed donor age older than 40 yr (OR=2.93; 95% CI = 1.49–5.8, p = 0.002) and the TLR3 Leu412Phe CC genotype (OR=2.02, 95%CI=1.01–4.05, p = 0.046) were independently associated with severe HCV recurrence. Our results show that the TLR3 Leu412Phe CC genotype is independently associated with severity of hepatitis C recurrence after LT.

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