To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
In 2004 the Netherlands Twin Register (NTR) started a large scale biological sample collection in twin families to create a resource for genetic studies on health, lifestyle and personality. Between January 2004 and July 2008, adult participants from NTR research projects were invited into the study. During a home visit between 7:00 and 10:00 am, fasting blood and morning urine samples were collected. Fertile women were bled on day 2–4 of the menstrual cycle, or in their pill-free week. Biological samples were collected for DNA isolation, gene expression studies, creation of cell lines and for biomarker assessment. At the time of blood sampling, additional phenotypic information concerning health, medication use, body composition and smoking was collected. Of the participants contacted, 69% participated. Blood and urine samples were collected in 9,530 participants (63% female, average age 44.4 (SD 15.5) years) from 3,477 families. Lipid profile, glucose, insulin, HbA1c, haematology, CRP, fibrinogen, liver enzymes and creatinine have been assessed. Longitudinal survey data on health, personality and lifestyle are currently available for 90% of all participants. Genome-wide SNP data are available for 3,524 participants, with additional genotyping ongoing. The NTR biobank, combined with the extensive phenotypic information available within the NTR, provides a valuable resource for the study of genetic determinants of individual differences in mental and physical health. It offers opportunities for DNA-based and gene expression studies as well as for future metabolomic and proteomic projects.
Genes in the TGF9 signaling pathway play important roles in the regulation of ovarian follicle growth and ovulation rate. Mutations in three genes in this pathway, growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF9), bone morphogenetic protein 15 (BMP15) and the bone morphogenetic protein receptor B 1 (BMPRB1), influence dizygotic (DZ) twinning rates in sheep. To date, only variants in GDF9 and BMP15, but not their receptors transforming growth factor ß receptor 1 (TGFBR1), bone morphogenetic protein receptor 2 (BMPR2) and BMPR1B, have been investigated with respect to their roles in human DZ twinning. We screened for rare and novel variants in TGFBR1, BMPR2 and BMPR1B in mothers of dizygotic twins (MODZT) from twin-dense families, and assessed association between genotyped and imputed variants and DZ twinning in another large sample of MODZT. Three novel variants were found: a deep intronic variant in BMPR2, and one intronic and one non-synonymous exonic variant in BMPRB1 which would result in the replacement of glutamine by glutamic acid at amino acid position 294 (p.Gln294Glu). None of these variants were predicted to have major impacts on gene function. However, the p.Gln294Glu variant changes the same amino acid as a sheep BMPR1B functional variant and may have functional consequences. Six BMPR1B variants were marginally associated with DZ twinning in the larger case-control sample, but these were no longer significant once multiple testing was taken into account. Our results suggest that variation in the TGF9 signaling pathway type II receptors has limited effects on DZ twinning rates in humans.
To locate the genes that make a substantial contribution to variation in natural dizygotic twinning in humans, large-scale studies are needed. New studies should not stop at DNA genotyping, but collect material that allow gene-expression analysis, transcriptomics, proteomics and endocrinology. In this article we describe a pilot study to examine the feasibility, effectiveness and logistics of large-scale nationwide sample collection in Dutch families in which two or more sisters have given birth to spontaneous dizygotic twins. Pedigree data and addresses from family members of proband mothers were collected by telephone. Blood and urine samples were collected during a home visit, and handled in the afternoon. All participants were bled between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. after overnight fasting. Blood samples of fertile women with a natural cycle were collected on the second, third or fourth day of their menstrual cycle. The effects of transportation and storage on blood quality, lipids, RNA with and without challenge, lymphocytes and other parameters were examined. Genomic DNA was isolated from blood and cells were immortalized using Epstein–Barr virus. In 78.6% of the women with a natural cycle blood samples were collected on the second, third or fourth day of the menstrual cycle. This percentage is likely to increase with the more dense geographical distribution of participants in the larger population. We conclude that the pilot study demonstrated the feasibility of this protocol to collect good quality of plasma, DNA, RNA and lymphocyte samples by home visits.
Genomics tools (gene- and protein-expression studies) can be used to find possible target genes involved in a quantifiable trait or disease state. However in many instances, cells and tissues directly involved in the trait's expression, for example, brain tissue, are not amenable for gene expression analysis. Whole blood cells share a molecular make-up for cellular communication and gene regulation systems with many other cell types, for example, neuronal cells, and have the advantage of being very accessible for gene profiling. We investigated the feasibility of nationwide blood sample collection for lymphocyte RNA isolation and real-time PCR analysis to quantify genomic responses. We tested several designs for blood collection and storage: blood sampling in PAXgene blood collection tubes and storage at −20°C, blood sampling in heparin tubes and decanting the samples (with or without in-vitro stimulus) into either PAXgene blood collection tubes and storage at −20°C, or polypropylene tubes followed by snap-freezing and storage at −80°C. The latter procedure is the best cost-wise when only small amounts of total RNA are needed for downstream applications. Lymphocyte gene expression studies are most likely hampered by the quality of isolated RNA rather than the sampling method. We show that large-scale nationwide sample collections did not alter RNA quality or gene expression levels when compared to sampling and processing in a more controlled way. To this end, we present an optimized protocol for easy and standardized isolation of high quality RNA using the PAXgene isolation kit. Based on these results, we suggest that whole blood genomic data can be used as a genomic probe in experimental and clinical research.
Based on results from a survey study in a sample of Australian parents of twins, Raj and Morley (2007) reported that questions concerning the mode of conception of twins may be offensive to parents. We looked at the willingness to reply to questions about mode of conception of twin pregnancies in a large survey study that was completed by 20,150 mothers of twins from the Netherlands Twin Registry. Data collection took place in 2005/2006. The amount of missing data was examined and by using data from earlier survey studies, responders and nonresponders were compared with respect to their answers to questions on assisted reproduction techniques. In addition, we assessed the reliability of the question on mode of conception by comparing the survey data with hospital records in a subsample of 80 mothers of twins. We found no indication that mothers of twins were not prepared to reply to questions on mode of conception. Only a small number of mothers did not fill in the question on mode of conception (0.8%). Also, the use of artificial fertility techniques did not differ between mothers who returned and mothers who did not return the 2005/2006 survey. The comparison of the survey data with the hospital records showed that mothers can accurately report on the mode of conception of their twins.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.