The immunomodulatory effects of HLA-G expression and its role in cancers, human liver infections and liver transplantation are well documented, but so far, there are only a few reports addressing autoimmune liver diseases, particularly autoimmune hepatitis (AIH). Method and materialsWe analyzed the genetic and phenotypic characteristics of HLA-G in 205 type 1 AIH patients (AIH-1) and a population of 210 healthy controls from Sardinia (Italy). ResultsAnalysis of the HLA-G locus showed no substantial differences in allele frequencies between patients and the healthy control population. The HLA-G UTR-1 haplotype was the most prevalent in both AIH-1 patients and controls (40.24% and 34.29%). Strong linkage was found between the HLA-G UTR-1 haplotype and HLA-DRB1*03:01 in AIH-1 patients but not controls (D' = 0.92 vs D' = 0.50 respectively; P = 1.3x10(-8)). Soluble HLA-G (sHLA-G) levels were significantly lower in AIH-1 patients compared to controls [13.9 (11.6 - 17.4) U/mL vs 21.3 (16.5 - 27.8) U/mL; P = 0.011]. Twenty-four patients with mild or moderate inflammatory involvement, as assessed from liver biopsy, showed much higher sHLA-G levels compared to the 28 patients with severe liver inflammation [33.5 (23.6 - 44.8) U/mL vs 8.8 (6.1 - 14.5) U/mL; P = 0.003]. Finally, immunohistochemistry analysis of 52 liver biopsies from AIH-1 patients did not show expression of HLA-G molecules in the liver parenchyma. However, a percentage of 69.2% (36/52) revealed widespread expression of HLA-G both in the cytoplasm and the membrane of plasma cells labeled with anti-HLA-G monoclonal antibodies. ConclusionThis study highlights the positive immunomodulatory effect of HLA-G molecules on the clinical course of AIH-1 and how this improvement closely correlates with plasma levels of sHLA-G. However, our results open the debate on the ambiguous role of HLA-G molecules expressed by plasma cells, which are pathognomonic features of AIH-1.

The double-sided of human leukocyte antigen-G molecules in type 1 autoimmune hepatitis

Perra, Andrea
;
Miglianti, Michela;Mocci, Stefano
;
Melis, Maurizio;Figorilli, Francesco;Firinu, Davide;Onali, Simona;Porcu, Carmen;Fanni, Daniela;Cusano, Roberto;Trucas, Marcello;Tranquilli, Stefania;Rassu, Stefania;Cannas, Federica;Carta, Mauro Giovanni;Kowalik, Marta Anna;Faa, Gavino;Chessa, Luchino
;
Giglio, Sabrina
2022-01-01

Abstract

The immunomodulatory effects of HLA-G expression and its role in cancers, human liver infections and liver transplantation are well documented, but so far, there are only a few reports addressing autoimmune liver diseases, particularly autoimmune hepatitis (AIH). Method and materialsWe analyzed the genetic and phenotypic characteristics of HLA-G in 205 type 1 AIH patients (AIH-1) and a population of 210 healthy controls from Sardinia (Italy). ResultsAnalysis of the HLA-G locus showed no substantial differences in allele frequencies between patients and the healthy control population. The HLA-G UTR-1 haplotype was the most prevalent in both AIH-1 patients and controls (40.24% and 34.29%). Strong linkage was found between the HLA-G UTR-1 haplotype and HLA-DRB1*03:01 in AIH-1 patients but not controls (D' = 0.92 vs D' = 0.50 respectively; P = 1.3x10(-8)). Soluble HLA-G (sHLA-G) levels were significantly lower in AIH-1 patients compared to controls [13.9 (11.6 - 17.4) U/mL vs 21.3 (16.5 - 27.8) U/mL; P = 0.011]. Twenty-four patients with mild or moderate inflammatory involvement, as assessed from liver biopsy, showed much higher sHLA-G levels compared to the 28 patients with severe liver inflammation [33.5 (23.6 - 44.8) U/mL vs 8.8 (6.1 - 14.5) U/mL; P = 0.003]. Finally, immunohistochemistry analysis of 52 liver biopsies from AIH-1 patients did not show expression of HLA-G molecules in the liver parenchyma. However, a percentage of 69.2% (36/52) revealed widespread expression of HLA-G both in the cytoplasm and the membrane of plasma cells labeled with anti-HLA-G monoclonal antibodies. ConclusionThis study highlights the positive immunomodulatory effect of HLA-G molecules on the clinical course of AIH-1 and how this improvement closely correlates with plasma levels of sHLA-G. However, our results open the debate on the ambiguous role of HLA-G molecules expressed by plasma cells, which are pathognomonic features of AIH-1.
HLA-G 3’UTR haplotypes; HLA-G alleles; Sardinian population; Anti-HLA-G monoclonal antibodies; Human leukocyte antigen; Plasma cell; Soluble HLA-G; Type 1 autoimmune hepatitis
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/351798
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