Correlation of HLA-DP/DQ polymorphisms with transplant etiologies and prognosis in liver transplant recipients

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Abstract

Previous study has identified that the genetic variants in the human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DP/DQ region were strongly associated with hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. But their roles in liver function recovery after hepatic transplantation were still obscure. This study aimed to investigate whether HLA-DP/DQ polymorphisms were associated with post-transplant etiologies and prognosis in Chinese liver transplant recipients.

A total of 144 liver transplant recipients were enrolled, which were divided into 2 groups according to the transplant etiology: HBV-related disease and non-HBV-related disease. HBV-related disease includes 3 subgroups: liver cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, and progressive HBV hepatitis. Three single-nucleotide polymorphisms HLA-DP (rs3077 and rs9277535) and HLA-DQ (rs7453920) were studied in all recipients by high-resolution melting curve analysis. Liver function indices (albumin, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase, direct bilirubin, total bilirubin) and coagulation indices (prothrombin time, platelet, international normalized ratio, fibrinogen) were routinely tested. After transplant, 10 recipients who were positive for HBsAg or with elevation in HBV virus load were regarded as HBV recurrence.

No significant association of HLA-DP/DQ polymorphisms with HBV recurrence or transplant etiology was observed (P < .05). Recipients with HLA-DQ (rs7453920) AG and AA genotype had lower direct bilirubin levels than GG genotype individuals, especially on the 14th day after surgery (17.80 vs. 5.35, P  =  .038). Patients with A alleles displayed earlier liver function recovery than patients with G alleles (7 vs. 6 months). No significant correlation was shown in HLA-DP rs3077 and rs9277535 with HBV infection or liver function recovery (P < .05).

Our study concluded that HLA-DP (rs3077 and rs9277535) and HLA-DQ (rs7453920) were not significantly associated with HBV recurrence or HBV susceptibility, but HLA-DQ rs7453920 was related to prognosis of liver transplant recipients. HLA-DQ rs7453920 A might be used as an indicator of earlier recovery and better prognosis after transplantation.

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