Background: Apolipoprotein L1 gene (APOL1) G1 and G2 renal-risk variants, common in populations with recent African ancestry, are strongly associated with non-diabetic nephropathy, end-stage kidney disease, and shorter allograft survival in deceased-donor kidneys (autosomal recessive inheritance). Circulating APOL1 protein is synthesized primarily in the liver and hydrodynamic gene delivery of APOL1 G1 and G2 risk variants has caused hepatic necrosis in a murine model.
Methods: To evaluate the impact of these variants in liver transplantation, this multicenter study investigated the association of APOL1 G1 and G2 alleles in deceased African American liver donors with allograft survival. Transplant recipients were followed for liver allograft survival using data from the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients.
Results: Of the 639 liver donors evaluated, 247 had no APOL1 risk allele, 300 had 1 risk allele, and 92 had 2 risk alleles. Graft failure assessed at 15 days, 6 months, 1 year and total was not significantly associated with donor APOL1 genotype (p-values = 0.25, 0.19, 0.67 and 0.89, respectively).
Conclusions: In contrast to kidney transplantation, deceased-donor APOL1 G1 and G2 risk variants do not significantly impact outcomes in liver transplantation.