Purpose: Despite improvements in immunosuppressive therapy, acute cellular rejection (ACR) remains an important cause of graft loss in patients undergoing liver transplantation. Recently, associations between cytokine gene polymorphisms in recipients and the occurrence of ACR have been reported. However, most studies did not investigate gene polymorphisms in donors or were limited by the number of cases investigated. Methods: We examined 155 living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) patients treated at Nagoya University or Kyoto University from 2004 to 2009. The following gene polymorphisms in recipients and donors were analyzed: tumor necrosis factor A (TNF-A) T-1031C, interleukin 2 (IL-2) T-330G, IL-10C-819T, IL-13C-1111T, and transforming growth factor B (TGF-B) T29C. Results: Forty-seven recipients (30.3 %) developed early ACR. Of the investigated gene polymorphisms, the IL-13 -1111C/C genotype in recipients was significantly associated with a higher incidence of ACR relative to the other two genotypes (OR = 2.64, 95 % CI 1.19-5.86, p = 0.017), while we showed the lack of association between investigated gene polymorphisms in donors and ACR incidence. Conclusion: The IL-13 -1111C/C genotype in recipients might be a risk factor for ACR in LDLT, and this might contribute to individualized immunosuppression strategies for recipients. On the other hand, the current study showed no associations of cytokine gene polymorphisms in donors with ACR incidence.
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