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Single cell comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) was employed to extensively investigate 24 unfertilized or in vitromatured meiosis II oocytes and their corresponding first polar bodies (PBs), to determine how and whether all 23 chromosomes participate in female meiosis I errors and to accurately estimate the aneuploidy rate in the examined cells. Results were obtained for 15 oocytes and 16 PBs, representing 23 eggs (MII oocyte-PB complexes) donated from 15 patients (average age 32.2 years). Abnormalities were detected in ten eggs, giving an overall aneuploidy rate of 43.5%. In all, fourteen anomalies were scored, with the fertilized oocyte being at risk of monosomy in eight cases and at risk of trisomy in six; chromosomes of various sizes participated. CGH was able to give a comprehensive aneuploidy rate, as both absence of chromosomal material and the presence of extra copies were accurately scored. The aneuploidy mechanisms determined were: classical whole univalent non-disjunction; chromatid predivision prior to anaphase I, leading to metaphase II imbalance. There was also evidence of germinal mosaicism for a trisomic cell line. Three patients appeared to be predisposed to meiosis I errors, based on the presence of either multiple abnormalities in one or more of their examined cells, or of the same type of abnormality in all of their cells. Exclusion of these susceptible patients reduces the aneuploidy rate to 20%. Various hypotheses are put forward to explain these observations in order to stimulate research into the complex nature of female meiotic regulation.

Original publication




Journal article


Cytogenet Genome Res

Publication Date





30 - 38


Adult, Aneuploidy, Base Sequence, DNA Primers, Female, Fertilization in Vitro, Gene Amplification, Genetic Predisposition to Disease, Genome, Human, Humans, Infertility, Female, Male, Meiosis, Nucleic Acid Hybridization, Oocytes, Polymerase Chain Reaction, Sperm Injections, Intracytoplasmic