We tested the hypothesis that X-linked genes determining stature which are subject to skewed or non-random X-inactivation can account for discordance in height in monozygotic female twins. Height discordant female monozygotic adult twins (20 pairs) were identified from the Australian Twin Registry, employing the selection criteria of proven monozygosity and a measured height discordance of at least 5 cm. Differential X-inactivation was examined in genomic DNA extracted from peripheral lymphocytes by estimating differential methylation of alleles at the polymorphic CAG triplet repeat of the Androgen receptor gene (XAR). There were 17/20 MZ pairs heterozygous at this locus and informative for analysis. Of these, 10/17 both had random X-inactivation, 5/17 showed identical X-inactivation patterns of non random inactivation and 2/17 (12%) showed discordant X-inactivation. There was no relationship between inactivation patterns and self-report chorionicity. We conclude that non-random X-inactivation does not appear to be a major contributor to intra-pair height discordance in female MZ twins.
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