Twin cell bank



During the past decade, considerable effort has been devoted to whole-genome screens to detect Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) for complex traits and diseases. Recent research developments are trying to combine twin studies with state-of-the-art molecular genetics, so as to take advantage from the comparison of genetically identical, or monozygotic (MZ) vs genetically nonidentical, or dizygotic (DZ) twin pairs, and thereby allow the implementation of a new powerful approach to the genetics of complex traits.
The availability of cell lines from selected twin pairs represents a crucial biological tool for understanding the molecular genetics of complex diseases with a strong genetic basis and high social relevance, such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, celiac disease, etc.

In this context, the Banca Biologica e Colture in GMP is setting up the Twin Cell Bank, in collaboration with "Twin Register of Rome", which holds a relevant amount of useful information on some 26.000 twin individuals. The plan is then to contact selected groups of MZ and DZ twin pairs and, after informed consent and assessment of life style and clinical conditions, to obtain blood samples and to use purified peripheral lymphocytes for EBV-immortalization. The EBV-transformed twin cell lines will provide a reproducible and virtually inexhaustible tool for cellular and molecular studies involving MZ and DZ twins.

The list of the first cell lines produced is available.