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Allergy. 2012 Jun;67(6):831-3. doi: 10.1111/j.1398-9995.2012.02828.x. Epub 2012 Apr 19.

Monozygotic twins discordant for intermittent allergic rhinitis differ in mRNA and protein levels.

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The Unit for Clinical Systems Biology, Queen Silvia Children's Hospital, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.


Monozygotic (MZ) twins discordant for complex diseases may help to find disease mechanisms that are not due to genetic variants. Intermittent allergic rhinitis (IAR) is an optimal disease model because it occurs at defined time points each year, owing to known external antigens. We hypothesized that MZ twins discordant for IAR could help to find gene expression differences that are not dependent on genetic variants. We collected blood outside of the season from MZ twins discordant for IAR, challenged their peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) with pollen allergen in vitro, collected supernatants and isolated CD4+ T cells. We identified disease-relevant mRNAs and proteins that differed between the discordant MZ twins. By contrast, no differences in microRNA expression were found. Our results indicate that MZ twins discordant for IAR is an optimal model to identify disease mechanisms that are not due to genetic variants.

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