, Volume 32, Issue 6, pp 1647-1653,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 04 Mar 2011

Killer immunoglobulin-like receptor and human leukocyte antigen-C genotypes in rheumatoid arthritis primary responders and non-responders to anti-TNF-α therapy


The identification of patients who will respond to anti-tumor necrosis factor alpha (anti-TNF-α) therapy will improve the efficacy, safety, and economic impact of these agents. We investigated whether killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR) genes are related to response to anti-TNF-α therapy in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Sixty-four RA patients and 100 healthy controls were genotyped for 16 KIR genes and human leukocyte antigen-C (HLA-C) group 1/2 using polymerase chain reaction sequence-specific oligonucleotide probes (PCR-SSOP). Each patient received anti-TNF-α therapy (adalimumab, etanercept, or infliximab), and clinical responses were evaluated after 3 months using the disease activity score in 28 joints (DAS28). We investigated the correlations between the carriership of KIR genes, HLA-C group 1/2 genes, and clinical data with response to therapy. Patients responding to therapy showed a significantly higher frequency of KIR2DS2/KIR2DL2 (67.7% R vs. 33.3% NR; P = 0.012). A positive clinical outcome was associated with an activating KIR–HLA genotype; KIR2DS2 + HLA-C group 1/2 homozygous. Inversely, non-response was associated with the relatively inhibitory KIR2DS2 HLA-C group 1/2 heterozygous genotype. The KIR and HLA-C genotype of an RA patient may provide predictive information for response to anti-TNF-α therapy.