Sib-pair analysis of 170 individuals from 11 Amish families revealed evidence for linkage of five markers in chromosome 5q31.1 with a gene controlling total serum immunoglobulin E (IgE) concentration. No linkage was found between these markers and specific IgE antibody concentrations. Analysis of total IgE within a subset of 128 IgE antibody-negative sib pairs confirmed evidence for linkage to 5q31.1, especially to the interleukin-4 gene (IL4). A combination of segregation and maximum likelihood analyses provided further evidence for this linkage. These analyses suggest that IL4 or a nearby gene in 5q31.1 regulates IgE production in a nonantigen-specific (noncognate) fashion.

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