Discordant phenotypes in twins with infantile nystagmus
journal contributionposted on 03.03.2021, 10:15 by A Aamir, HJ Kuht, RJ McLean, GDE Maconachie, V Sheth, B Dawar, R Purohit, N Sylvius, M Hisaund, A Zubcov-Iwantscheff, FA Proudlock, I Gottlob, MG Thomas
Infantile nystagmus (IN) may result from aetiologies including albinism and FRMD7 mutations. IN has low prevalence, and twins with IN are rare. Whilst discordant presentation has been previously reported for IN, we present for the first time the comprehensive assessment of diagnostically discordant monozygotic twins. From a cohort of over 2000 patients, we identified twins and triplets discordant for nystagmus. Using next-generation sequencing, high-resolution infra-red pupil tracking and optical coherence tomography, we characterised differences in genotype and phenotype. Monozygotic twins (n = 1), dizygotic twins (n = 3) and triplets (n = 1) were included. The monozygotic twins had concordant TYR variants. No causative variants were identified in the triplets. Dizygotic twins had discordant variants in TYR, OCA2 and FRMD7. One unaffected co-twin demonstrated sub-clinical nystagmus. Foveal hypoplasia (FH) was noted in four of five probands. Both co-twins of the monozygotic pair and triplets displayed FH. In three families, at least one parent had FH without nystagmus. FH alone may be insufficient to develop nystagmus. Whilst arrested optokinetic reflex pathway development is implicated in IN, discordant twins raise questions regarding where differences in development have arisen. In unaffected monozygotes therefore, genetic variants may predispose to oculomotor instability, with variable expressivity possibly responsible for the discordance observed.