F. Nipa Haque is completing her MSc in pharmacology at the University of Toronto with Dr. Albert Wong at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto, Ontario. The focus of her research is gene–environment interaction in the development of neuropsychiatric disease.
Not really identical: Epigenetic differences in monozygotic twins and implications for twin studies in psychiatry†
Article first published online: 17 APR 2009
Copyright © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
American Journal of Medical Genetics Part C: Seminars in Medical Genetics
Special Issue: The Genetics of Twinning: From Splitting Eggs to Breaking Paradigms
Volume 151C, Issue 2, pages 136–141, 15 May 2009
How to Cite
Haque, F. N., Gottesman, I. I. and Wong, A. H.C. (2009), Not really identical: Epigenetic differences in monozygotic twins and implications for twin studies in psychiatry. Am. J. Med. Genet., 151C: 136–141. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.c.30206
How to cite this article: Haque FN, Gottesman II, Wong AHC. 2009. Not really identical: Epigenetic differences in monozygotic twins and implications for twin studies in psychiatry. Am J Med Genet Part C Semin Med Genet 151C:136–141.
- Issue published online: 23 APR 2009
- Article first published online: 17 APR 2009
- monozygotic twins;
- non-shared environment
Classical twin studies in the field of psychiatry generally fall into one of two categories: (1) those designed to identify environmental risk factors causing discordance in monozygotic (MZ) twins and (2) those geared towards identifying genetic risk factors. However, neither environment nor differences in DNA sequence can fully account for phenotypic discordance among MZ twins. The field of epigenetics – DNA modifications that can affect gene expression – offers new models to understand discordance in MZ twins. In the past, MZ twins were regarded as genetically-identical controls for differing environmental conditions. In contrast, the evolving current concept is that epigenetic differences between MZ twins may modulate differences in diverse phenotype, from disease to personality. In this article, we review some twin studies, and discuss the dynamic interactions between stochastic, environmental, and epigenetic variables that influence neurobiological phenotypes. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.