Review: Autism and KIR genes of the human genome: A brief meta-analysis

  • Najmeh Pirzadroozbahani
  • Seyyed Amir Yasin Ahmadi
  • Hamidreza Hekmat
  • Golnaz Atri Roozbahani
  • Farhad Shahsavar
Keywords: Autism Neuroimmunology KIR NK cell


Background: Killer cell immunoglobin-like receptors (KIR) are the  transmembrane glycoproteins on natural killer (NK) cells that regulate their functions. Studies show that immune system plays roles in  neurodevelopmental disorders like autism, and NK cell abnormality can be a risk factor in autism spectrum disorders.
Aim: This study aims to investigate the role of KIR genes diversity in autism.
Methods: In order to find the relevant literature, we used PubMed, Google Scholar and other search engines. Association of each gene was analyzed through chi-square with Yate’s correction (or Fisher’s exact test if necessary). Software comprehensive meta-analysis was used. Both fixed and random effect models were reported.
Results: Among fourteen genes of KIR, the risk role of KIR2DS1 and  KIR3DS1 were statistically significant based on fixed effect model. Among these two genes, KIR2DS1 needed random effect model because of its heterogeneity. After applying random effect, its role was not significant. The funnel plot showed no publication bias for KIR3DS1, and its role was  significant based on fixed effect model (P = .028; OR = 1.31).
Conclusions: Autism spectrum disorders are accompanied by KIR3DS1 which is an activating gene of KIR. It seems that hyper-activity of NK cells results in inflammation in neuroimmune system that in turn can be associated with autism. The legend of 3DS1 receptor is unknown, and suggested to be investigated. This meta-analysis should be updated in future.

Keywords: Autism Neuroimmunology KIR NK cell 


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1110-8630