Dizygotic twins are generally believed to be no more genetically similar than sibs born from separate pregnancies. In the present study, a panel of 93 dizygotic twin pairs discordant for rheumatoid arthritis were typed for HLA-A, -B, -Cw, and -DR antigens. HLA haplotype sharing identical by descent between the twins showed a trend towards increased sharing of both HLA haplotypes; this increased sharing was statistically significant when the female/female twin pairs were considered separately. In contrast, the pattern of HLA haplotype sharing in sib pairs (n = 128) was consistent with a 1:2:1 ratio of 2, 1, or 0 haplotypes shared. An analysis of 16 normal dizygotic twin pairs was consistent with these results raising the possibility that dizygotic twins in general are genetically more similar at the HLA complex than sibs born from separate pregnancies.
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