Category Archives: antibody repertoire

Identical twins? only genetically

The twin research has intrigued researchers since the beginning of scientific research. Are two “identical” twins really identical? Immunologists had their doubts and epigeneticists (those who study epigenome characteristics) as well. 

A paper in PNAS by Wang and colleagus from S.D.Boyd’s group at Stanford earlier this year confirms the doubts the immunologist had. They have analyzed the B lymphocyte repertoire in identical twins who had been immunized with the virus Varizella zoster. Being close and sharing sequences, the repertoires against Varizella differed, however. Recombination of light and heavy chains and somatic mutation generated a unique individual pattern, as one would have predicted. The recombination and somatic mutation events are thus, at least partially, independent of the genetic environnement where they take place and thus generate a unique individual repertoire by which the individuum could be recognized.

It is nice that finally evidence for this foreseeable result has been accumulated. Recommended!