Inheritance of total serum IgE (basal levels) in man

D. A. Meyers, T. H. Beaty, L. R. Freidhoff, D. G. Marsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Since allergic individuals with atopic allergy tend to have higher total serum IgE levels than do nonallergic subjects, family studies of total serum IgE levels are necessary in delineating the genetic and environmental factors involved in the expression of allergic disease. However, previous studies do not agree as to the genetic basis of total IgE production. To try to resolve this conflict, a total of 278 individuals from 42 nuclear families ascertained for large family size (at least four children) were studied. The families were not selected for the presence of allergic disease. Segregation analysis showed that the mixed model of recessive inheritance of high levels was most appropriate for these data - with ~36% of the total phenotypic variation in log[IgE] attributable to genetic factors, equally divided between a Mendelian component and a more general polygenic component. Thus, these data suggest some role for Mendelian control of basal IgE levels, but there is significant familial aggregation in IgE levels over and above that due to a Mendelian factor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-62
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Human Genetics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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