Background: Natural killer (NK) cells have been implicated in the immune response against multiple myeloma (MM) cells. Killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) regulate NK cell activity by recognizing specific human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I as ligands.
Objective: To investigate the association of KIR genes and ligands with MM in the Thai population.
Methods: KIR gene polymorphisms and their HLA ligands were investigated in 66 Thai patients with MM and 200 healthy controls.
Results: The frequencies of KIR3DL1 and 2DS4 were significantly lower in myeloma patients than in controls (P = 0.02). The frequencies of KIR3DL1, 2DS4, 2DL1 with C2, and 3DL1 with Bw4 were significantly higher in the patients achieving > very good partial response (VGPR) than those achieving ≤ VGPR after treatment with bortezomib (P = 0.009, 0.009, 0.01, and 0.02, respectively).
Conclusions: This study suggests the association of KIR genes with the protection against MM and the association of inhibitory KIR and ligands with the response to treatment in MM.