The results of standard cytogenetic analysis of the long-term cultures of embryonic fibroblasts of 478 first-trimester spontaneous abortions were retrospectively reviewed. In 16% of embryos with cytogenetically confirmed karyotype 46,XX, the Y chromosome was found by molecular genetic methods. Prior to obtaining the chromosome preparations, the cell cultures of Y chromosome-carrying embryos were maintained for a longer period than the cultures of embryos without the Y chromosome. Thus, a late entry of a culture into the log-growth phase serves as marker of maternal cell contamination. We developed a mathematical model for assessment of karyotype incidence and the “sex ratio” of spontaneous abortions, taking into account risk of maternal cell contamination in extraembryonic tissue cultures. Thus estimated, the incidence of chromosomal abnormalities in the studied sample increased from 54.6 to 60.3% and the expected sex ratio increased from 0.66 to 1.02 in abortions with normal karyotype. Using molecular analysis of inheritance of polymorphic DNA markers of six autosomes (2, 11, 16, 19, 20, and 21), the proposed model was tested on 60 embryos with karyotype 46,XX and their parents. Numerical chromosome abnormalities were revealed in uncultured tissues of seven abortions (11.7%), including four without the Y chromosome, which is in a good agreement with the expected incidence of karyotype abnormalities (8.3%) predicted by our model. In view of this, estimating risk of maternal cell contamination in embryonic cell cultures seems necessary for correctly assessing the effect of natural selection in humans, for understanding the mechanisms that determine the sex ratio, and for evaluating the accuracy of prenatal cytogenetic diagnosis of chromosomal abnormalities.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 20, 2004
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