Você está na página 1de 4

Twins can develop in two different ways: Two eggs are released and fertilized by two different sperm.

. The twin fetuses then develop together in the womb, but they each have their own placenta and amniotic sac. These are known as "Fraternal twins" (dizygotic). They may or may not have the same blood type, and may or may not be of the same sex. Approximately 2/3 of twin pregnancies are fraternal twins. "Identical twins" (monozygotic) are less common. One egg is fertilized, but then it splits into two zygotes. These develop into two fetuses that may share a single placenta or may each have their own depending on when the egg splits. They also may have a single amniotic sac or each have their own. Generally, the later the egg splits into two zygotes, the more likely they will have only a single placenta between the two of them. They will be the same sex and have the same blood type since they formed from a single egg. Identical or monozygotic (MZ) twins occur when a single egg is fertilized to form one zygote (hence, "monozygotic") which then

divides into two separate embryos. There are an estimated 11 million sets of identical twins and triplets in the world today. [edit] Mechanism Regarding spontaneous or natural monozygotic twinning, a recent theory posits that identical twins are formed after a blastocyst essentially collapses, splitting the progenitor cells (those that contain the body's fundamental genetic material) in half, leaving the same genetic material divided in two on opposite sides of the embryo. Eventually, two separate fetuses develop.[12] Spontaneous division of the zygote into two embryos is not considered to be a hereditary trait, but rather a spontaneous or random event.[11][13] Identical twins may also be created artificially by embryo splitting. It can be used as an expansion of IVF to increase the number of available embryos for embryo transfer. Comparison of zygote development in identical and fraternal twins. In the uterus, a majority of identical twins (6070%) share the same placenta but have separate amniotic sacs. In 1830% of identical twins each fetus has a separate placenta and a separate amniotic sac. A small number (12%) of identical twins share the same placenta and amniotic sac. Fraternal twins each have their own placenta and own amniotic sac IncidenceMonozygotic twinning occurs in birthing at a rate of about three in every 1000 deliveries worldwide.[13] The likelihood of a single fertilization resulting in identical twins is uniformly distributed in all populations around the world. [11] This is in marked contrast to fraternal twinning, which ranges from about six per thousand births in Japan (almost similar to the rate of identical twins, which is around 45) to 15 and more per thousand in some parts of India[15] and up to 24 in the US,[citation needed] which might mainly be due to IVF (in vitro fertilization). The exact cause for the splitting of a zygote or embryo is unknown. In-vitro fertilization techniques are more likely to create twins. Only about three pairs of twins per 1,000 deliveries occur as a result of natural conception, while for IVF deliveries, there are nearly 21 pairs of twins for every 1,000.[16] [edit] Genetic and epigenetic similarityIdentical twins are genetically identical (unless there has been a mutation during development) and they are always the same sex. On rare occasions, identical twins may express different phenotypes (normally due to an environmental factor or the deactivation of different X chromosomes in female identical twins), and in some extremely rare cases, due to aneuploidy, twins may express different sexual phenotypes, normally due to an XXY Klinefelter's syndrome zygote splitting unevenly.[17][18] Identical twins actually have only nearly identical DNA, and differing environmental influences throughout their lives affect which genes are switched on or off. This is called epigenetic modification. A study of 80 pairs of human twins ranging in age from three to 74 showed that the youngest twins have relatively few epigenetic differences. The number of epigenetic differences between identical twins increases with age. Fifty-year-old twins had over three times the epigenetic difference of three-year-old twins. Twins who had spent their lives apart (such as those adopted by two different sets of parents at birth) had the greatest difference.[19] However, certain characteristics become more alike as twins age, such as IQ and personality. [20][21] This phenomenon illustrates the influence of genetics in many aspects of human characteristics and behavior. [citation needed]

[edit] Phenotype similarityContrary to common opinion, identical twins are not always of the same phenotypical sex. There have been described cases where monozygocity resulted in 46,XO (i.e. female with Turner syndrome) and 46,XY (i.e. male). This is thought to be due to unequal distribution of zygotic protoplasm. However, as a rule, traits and physical appearances of MZ twins are very similar. Identical twins look alike, although they do not have the same fingerprints (which are environmental as well as genetic). As they mature, identical twins often become less alike because of lifestyle choices or external influences. The children of identical twins would test genetically as half-siblings rather than first cousins. [edit] Half-identical twinsHalf-identical or semi-identical twins (also referred to as "half twins") are the result of a very rare form of twinning in which the twins inherit exactly the same genes from their mother but different genes from their father. Although examples of half-identical twins have been found, the exact mechanism of their conception is not well-understood, but could theoretically occur in polar body twinning where sperm cells fertilize both the ovum and the second polar body. This situation is not the same as the common form of fraternal twinning, in which two genetically different ova are fertilized by two genetically different sperm. In this case, the ova are genetically identical. [edit] TypesThere are two mechanisms by which this might happen: Polar twins (or "polar body twins"), where two sperm fertilize an ovum, one of the two fertilizing a polar body;[22] or where an ovum splits into identical copies, one containing a polar body, prior to fertilization, allowing it to be fertilized by two different sperm.[23][24] Sesquizygotic twins, where two sperm fertilize the one ovum, forming a triploid, and then splitting.[25] [edit] IncidenceA 1981 study of a dead triploid XXX twin fetus without a heart showed that although its fetal development suggested that it was an identical twin, as it shared a placenta with its healthy twin, tests revealed that it was likely a polar body twin. The authors were unable to predict whether a healthy fetus could result from a polar body twinning.[26] In 2003 a study argued that many cases of triploidity arise from semi-identical twinning.[27] In 2007, a study reported a case of a pair of living twins, one a hermaphrodite and one a phenotypical male. The twins were both found to be chimeras and to share all of their maternal DNA but only half of their father's DNA. The exact mechanism of fertilization could not be determined but the study stated that it was unlikely to be a case of polar body twinning. Identical -- or monozygotic -- twins form when a single fertilized egg splits in two after conception. Because they form from a single zygote, the two individuals will have the same genetic makeup. Their DNA is virtually indistinguishable. However, fingerprints are not an entirely genetic characteristic. Scientists love to use this topic as an example of the old "nature vs. nurture" debate. Fingerprinting, along with other physical characteristics, is an example of a phenotype -- meaning that it is determined by the interaction of an individual's genes and the developmental environment in the uterus. The ultimate shape of fingerprints are believed to be influenced by environmental factors during pregnancy, like nutrition, blood pressure, position in the womb and the growth rate of the fingers at the end of the first trimester. Thus you will find similar patterns of whorls and ridges in the fingerprints of identical twins. But there will also be differences -- just as there are differences between the fingers on any individual's hands." Zygosity is the degree of identity in the genome of twins. There are five common variations of twinning. The three most common variations are all fraternal (dizygotic): Malefemale twins are the most common result, 50 percent of fraternal twins and the most common grouping of twins. Femalefemale fraternal twins (sometimes called "sororal twins") Malemale fraternal twins The other two variations are identical (monozygotic) twins: Femalefemale identical twins Malemale identical twins (least common) Among non-twin births, male singletons are slightly (about five percent) more common than female singletons. The rates for singletons vary slightly by country. For example, the sex ratio of birth in the US is 1.05 males/female, [9] while it is 1.07 males/female in Italy.[10] However, males are also more susceptible than females to death in utero, and since the death rate in utero is higher for twins, it leads to female twins being more common than male twins. [edit] Fraternal (dizygotic) twinsFraternal or dizygotic (DZ) twins (also referred to as "non-identical twins", "dissimilar twins", "biovular twins", and, in cases of females, occasionally sororal twins) usually occur when two fertilized eggs

are implanted in the uterus wall at the same time. When two eggs are independently fertilized by two different sperm cells, fraternal twins result. The two eggs, or ova, form two zygotes, hence the terms dizygotic and biovular. Fraternal twins, like any other siblings, have an extremely small chance of having the same chromosome profile. Like any other siblings, fraternal twins may look similar, particularly given that they are the same age. However, fraternal twins may also look very different from each other. They may be of different sexes or the same sex. The same holds true for brothers and sisters from the same parents, meaning that fraternal twins are simply brothers and/or sisters who happen to be the same age. Studies show that there is a genetic basis for fraternal twinning. However, it is only their mother that has any effect on the chances of having fraternal twins; there is no known mechanism for a father to cause the release of more than one ovum. Dizygotic twinning ranges from six per thousand births in Japan (similar to the rate of monozygotic twins) to 14 and more per thousand in some African countries.[6] Fraternal twins are also more common for older mothers, with twinning rates doubling in mothers over the age of 35. [11] With the advent of technologies and techniques to assist women in getting pregnant, the rate of fraternals has increased markedly. Fraternal Twins Fraternal twins medically termed as dizygotic twins occur when two offspring are born of the same pregnancy and develop from two separate ova that were released from the ovary and fertilized at the same time. Fraternal twins may be of the same or opposite sex and will differ genetically as well as in appearance. Fraternal twins may be of the same or opposite sex and will differ genetically as well as in appearance. "Fraternal twins are twins that come from different eggs," says Barbara Hanson, a professor of genetics at Canisius College in New York. "There are women who are known as 'multiple ovulators.' These women do not ovulate one egg each month they ovulate multiple eggs each month. As two eggs are released at the same time, women who release more than one egg a month are 10 times as likely to give birth to twins than those who release only one. Multiple ovulation is one of the main reasons behind the birth of fraternal twins." The occurrence of fraternal twins varies, and there are several factors that contribute to the presence of these twins, including ethnic origin and maternal age. The highest occurrence of fraternal twins is found in black women, while the lowest is found in Asian women. Women between the ages of 35 to 39 tend to give birth to fraternal twins twice as many times as those not within this age group. Identical Twins Identical twins medically termed as monozygotic twins occur when an ovum splits into equal halves during early embryonic development, resulting in two offspring of the same pregnancy. Identical twins are always of the same sex, have the same genetic makeup, possess identical blood groups and will resemble each other physically. Unlike fraternal twins, identical twins occur equally in all races and age groups. "What happens when identical twins form is that the egg is fertilized and it starts going through the cell divisions during the early part of fetal development," says Hanson. "For some reason, which we don't totally understand, the cells separate during this division, giving way to two fully-formed ova, which will develop into identical twins." Elisa Ast All, mother of three children including identical twin girls, was shocked when she learned she was having twins. "I always assumed you had to have a family history of twins in order to conceive them naturally, as I did," she says. "But with identical twins, it's just a random act of nature not handed down through families and I was blessed to get them." The girls look so much alike that even close friends can't always tell them apart. Conjoined twins are identical twins who did not completely separate during fetal development, and the offspring remain attached to each other and may even share body parts or organs. "What happens with conjoined twins is that the egg does not separate completely," says Hanson. "It is the degree of separation that determines how much they share ultimately. They can be joined at the head, or more commonly, the abdomen or pelvis. Sometimes they share legs; sometimes they can share liver, heart, kidneys or other internal organs. Sometimes they can be easily separated, and sometimes it can be a very complicated operation. However, there are conjoined twins who have never been separated and have grown and developed into healthy, well-adjusted adults." Unequal twins are two separate fetuses born of the same pregnancy in which only one of the pair is fully formed. The other fetus shows varying degrees of developmental defects. The differences that characterize unequal twins do not have to be that of a serious nature, and it may only be that one of the pair is larger by a minimum of 2 pounds or 1 inch. "Size is the major factor with unequal twins," says Hanson. "However, in most cases, one of the pair will suffer from several physical problems, such as underdeveloped lungs or heart. It is thought that unequal twins result from an unequal separation

of the ova during development, which leads to one of the pair receiving more nutrients, oxygen and room in the uterus. Unequal twins are rare and make up only about 2 percent of all multiple births." The Role of Genetics When having twins, parents often find themselves subject to questions regarding heredity and the birth of their twins. The question that I've gotten is, 'Do twins run in the family?'" says Robin Frazier, a stay-at-home mom from Brampton, Cambridgeshire, UK. "And I always answer, 'They do now.'" "People ask all the time if I had twins in my family background," says Lambert. "I also hear from people who tell me they have a family background of twins and that it makes them nervous about getting pregnant. My twins were the first set of living twins in my family." So what part does heredity play in the development of twins? According to Hanson, it depends upon the type of twin. "The twins that run in families are fraternal twins," says Hanson. "As some women naturally ovulate more than one egg per month, this trait tends to run in families. However, identical twins come from the same egg and do not run in families. There is no concrete link between a genetic inheritance and identical twins, as no one knows when or why certain eggs will split to cause twins while others do not. Maybe once people understand this, parents of multiples won't have to explain their twins." The next time you see parents walking with their twins in a stroller or cooing at them while shopping, look carefully before asking them questions. You may be able to answer your own questions by knowing what twins are, why they happen and the difference between fraternal and identical. Besides, if you have twins, you need all the spare time you can get. In general, it is believed that having fraternal (dizygotic) twins can be genetic and that this predisposition can cause women to be more likely to release more than one egg at a time, offering the chance for more than one egg to be fertilized at a time. Other factors that can increase your chances of having fraternal twins include using fertility treatments and a mother being over 35-40 years old when she becomes pregnant. The chance of having identical (monozygotic) twins is usually not thought to be genetic. Although it is possible to do genetic testing to determine if you have had identical or fraternal twins, you can sometimes tell by the pattern of development of the placenta(s) and its inner (amnion) and outer (chorion) membranes. Fraternal Twins Fraternal twins are the result when two different eggs (ova) are fertilized by two different sperm. This leads to the development of two separate placentas, each with its own chorion and amnion. Fraternal twins are more common than identical twins and account for about 2/3 of twin pregnancies. Identical Twins Identical twins develop when a fertilized egg splits. Depending on when the split occurs will determine if the twins share a placenta, with either one or two chorions and amnions, or if they each develop their own placentas. In general, the later the spit occurs, the more likely that the twins will share one placenta. Fraternal vs. Identical Twinning Even after they are born, it is sometimes difficult to know whether twins are identical or fraternal. It can be easier if they: share one placenta (identical) are different sexes (fraternal) have different blood types (fraternal) It is harder to know if they are the same sex, have the same blood type, or if there are two placentas, since they could then be either fraternal or identical twins. Don't be fooled by a fused placenta (fraternal twins), which can look like it is just one placenta, or if the twins don't look alike. Sometimes, factors during the pregnancy, especially twin to twin transfusion syndrome, can lead to identical twins that have very different birth weights and are mistakenly thought to be fraternal. And sometimes, fraternal twins can look enough alike to be confused with identical twins. If you or your doctors aren't sure of the zygosity of your twins, you can consider having DNA testing done. Higher Order Multiples The same factors occur with higher order multiples, with either multiple eggs being fertilized or one or more fertilized eggs splitting. For example, in the case of triplets, you could have: three separate eggs being released and fertilized by three different sperms (fraternal triplets) two separate eggs being released, with one splitting after it is fertilized (2 of the triplets will be identical and the other fraternal) the last type is the most rare, with one egg being released and splitting three times after it is fertilized (identical triplets)