MRI imaging was used to estimate volumes of corpus callosum structure in 45 pairs of identical (monozygotic, MZ) twins from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) twin study. Age range of the study subjects was from 68-78 years. Finger, palm, and footprint data (dermatoglyphics) collected at previous examinations of the NHLBI twin study were available for 39 pairs. The dermatoglyphics were scored for an index to retrospectively assess chorion type in MZ twin-pairs. The results indicated an association between variability in various structures of the corpus callosum with some of these dermatoglyphic traits, suggesting greater structural variation within pairs with dichorionic placentas. In contrast, total intracranial volume, which has similar heritability estimates as a result of shared genetic effects with the corpus callosum, was unrelated to the dermatoglyphic traits. The results provide indirect evidence that the intrauterine environment may influence twin-pair similarity of corpus callosum measures in adults.
Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.