Effects of polymorphisms in TNFA and TNFR2 on the outcome of 462 cases of unrelated bone marrow transplantation (uBMT) were studied retrospectively. Four alleles of TNFA (U01-U04) distinguished by polymorphism in the upstream region, -1031 (T/C), -863 (C/A) and -857 (C/T), and two alleles of TNFR2 (196M/196R) distinguished by polymorphism at codon 196 were determined. Transplantation involving TNFA-U02-and/or U03-positive donors and/or recipients resulted in a higher incidence of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) of grade III-IV (P < 0.05 for donor type, P < 0.01 for recipient type) and a lower relapse rate than that involving TNFA-U01 homozygous recipients and/or donors (P < 0.025 for donor type, P < 0.01 for recipient type). These results include the HLA mismatching effect due to linkage disequilibrium of TNFA with HLA loci. However, the effects were also observed in HLA-A, -B and -DRBI allele-matched transplantation. Transplantation from TNFR2-196R-positive donors exhibited a higher incidence of severe GVHD (P < 0.05) and tendency for a lower relapse rate than that from TNFR2-196M homozygous donors. TNFR2-196R of recipient origin had no effect on GVHD but increased the relapse rate (P < 0.025). These results suggest that TNFA and TNFR2 typings are helpful for predicting uBMT outcome and for preventing severe complications at an early stage.
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