Our proposal is an innovative approach towards investigating the mechanisms underlying the development of illness in infancy. The establishment of a dedicated twin birth cohort in Chongqing, recruited during pregnancy, will enable an unparalleled investigation of the link between genetic risk, early life environment, mediating mechanisms, and early life phenotypes and disorders (such as allergic conditions), including predictive biomarkers present in childhood associated with later development of neurodevelopmental, cardiovascular and/or metabolic dysfunction. Non-invasive risk phenotypes, reproducibly and readily quantified in children often track from mid-childhood into adulthood, and therefore act as intermediate phenotypes toward adult disease. Our proposal builds on previous learning from the Australian PETS cohort (Melbourne, Australia) to enable the establishment of a dedicated Chinese prenatal/antenatal twin cohort for investigating the early life determinants of illnesses in infancy.

  • General Information of Study
    • Overview
      Name Unraveling the complex interplay between  genes and environment in specifying early  life determinants of illness in infancy: a longitudinal prenatal study of Chinese Twins(LoTiS)
      Project Number CCC2017121801
      Website None
      Investigators
      QI Hongbo
      Institutions The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University
      Contacts
      TONG Chao
      Funding National Natural Science Fund 81520108013
      Objectives Our proposal is an innovative approach towards investigating the mechanisms underlying the development of illness in infancy. The establishment of a dedicated twin birth cohort in Chongqing, recruited during pregnancy, will enable an unparalleled investigation of the link between genetic risk, early life environment, mediating mechanisms, and early life phenotypes and disorders (such as allergic conditions), including predictive biomarkers present in childhood associated with later development of neurodevelopmental, cardiovascular and/or metabolic dysfunction. Non-invasive risk phenotypes, reproducibly and readily quantified in children often track from mid-childhood into adulthood, and therefore act as intermediate phenotypes toward adult disease. Our proposal builds on previous learning from the Australian PETS cohort (Melbourne, Australia) to enable the establishment of a dedicated Chinese prenatal/antenatal twin cohort for investigating the early life determinants of illnesses in infancy.
      Start Date 2016/1/1
      End Date 2020/12/31
    • Study Design
      Number of Participants MZ 150 pairs、DZ 150 pairs
      Age Range 20-40 years old
      Geographic Distribution Chongqing City
      General Information of Study Design and Sample Methods Typical sampling
      Inclusion Criteria All women pregnant with twins will be invited to participate in this study once identified in The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, department of obstetrics. Dedicated research midwives will constantly monitor women attending clinics and identify those newly detected by ultrasound as carrying twins, before 14 weeks gestation.
      Exclusion Criteria Twin twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS), twin anemia - polycythemia sequence (TAPS), Twins reversed arterial perfusion sequence(TRAPS), Deaths of one of twins, Malformation of one of twins.
    • Other Information
      Key Achievements None
      Marker Papers None
      Strength The  strength  of  the study  lies  in  the  ability  to  disentangle  genetic  and environmental factors  contributing  to  phenotype,  by  comparing  genetically  identical monozygotic  (MZ)  twins  to  dizygotic  (DZ)  twins,  who  share  on  average  50%  of  genetic variants.  Twin studies  therefore  offer  the  opportunity  to  study  the  relative  contributions  of genes and  environment  in  specifying  the  early  life  risk  of  infantile  disease  in  relatively modest  sample  sizes.  A  particularly  powerful  approach  lies  in  the  analysis  of  phenotypically discordant  MZ  twins  that  allows  unparalleled  insights  into  (such  as epigenetics)  of  environmentally  specified  disease  risk  in  the  absence  of  genetic  confounders.
      Weakness 1.Mainly in the Chongqing area 2.the limited sample size