Investigation of KIR diversity in immunosenecence and longevity within the Irish population

Lynn D. Maxwell, Owen A. Ross, Martin D. Curran, I. Maeve Rea, Derek Middleton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Natural killer (NK) cells play a pivotal role in the innate immune response. During the ageing process, variations occur in NK cell number and function. The cytolytic activity of NK cells is controlled by an array of activating and inhibitory cell surface receptors, including the killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs). In the present study, genetic diversity of the KIR loci was analysed with respect to successful ageing in the Irish population. A PCR-SSOP KIR gene identification system was employed to determine the frequency of the named KIR genes/pseudogenes and KIR genotypes within a healthy aged cohort and young control group. Although, two KIR genes (2DS3, 2DL5) displayed an initial increased frequency in the aged group, the significance of this association was lost when repeated in a second cohort. In view of the lack of studies to date, investigating the role of the KIR gene system in healthy ageing, further analysis of KIR diversity is required to fully elucidate it's role in respect to age-related disease and longevity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1223-1232
Number of pages10
JournalExperimental Gerontology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2004


  • Ageing
  • KIR
  • Natural killer cell
  • Polymorphism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Aging
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology


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