Objectives: This study was aimed at performing a segregation analysis of total serum immunoglobulin E (tIgE) in an isolated population using maximal genealogical information permitted by current software and computer capacities, while assessing the reliability of the best-fitting model of inheritance for tIgE through simulations. Methods: All current Tangier Island, VA, residents (n = 664) belonged to one large extended pedigree (n = 3,501) spanning 13 generations, with an average inbreeding coefficient of 0.009. Phenotype data were obtained on 453 (68.2%) of the residents using a population-based recruitment scheme. Due to computational limitations resulting from the extremely complex pedigree structure, analysis on only two pedigree reconstructions was feasible: a reduced pedigree retaining all phenotyped individuals and their parents as 57 distinct families, and 922 nuclear families. Results: Familial correlations and heritability calculations reveal a significant genetic component to tIgE in these data (heritability = 26%). The most parsimonious model to explain tIgE distribution indicated by the reduced pedigree structure was a two-distribution Mendelian model. However, larger and non-genetic models could not be rejected. Simulations over 200 replicates performed to evaluate the reliability of this model, indicated that using restricted genealogical information had minimal impact on results of segregation analyses performed here.
- Segregation analysis
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