Reproduction, Fertility and Development Reproduction, Fertility and Development Society
Vertebrate reproductive science and technology


T. A. L. Brevini A , G. Pennarossa A , A. Vanelli A , G. Tettamanti C , L. Bogliolo B , M. de Eguileor C , S. Ledda B and F. Gandolfi A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Laboratory of Biomedical Embryology, DSA, Universitá degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy;

B Department of Veterinary Pathology and Clinic, University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy;

C DBSM, University of Insubria, Varese, Italy

Reproduction, Fertility and Development 22(1) 318-318
Published: 8 December 2009


Mature oocytes can be activated in vitro, leading to the generation of parthenotes that will develop in culture forming blastocysts morphologically indistinguishable from those derived from fertilized eggs. Parthenotes have been used as a source of pluripotent cells that show the traditional features associated with their biparental counterpart: expression of totipotency markers, telomerase activity, embryoid body formation, in vitro differentiation and, in most cases, teratoma formation. However, many aspects still need to be elucidated and, in particular, little attention has been paid to the inci- dence of aneuploidy in these cells. Limited data available for parthenotes derived from different mammalian species indicate a high rate of aneuploidy, whichis consideredtobecaused by the lackofthe paternal contribution, because alterations of the centrosome are knowntolead to multipolar spindles that, in turn, cause aneuploid cells. In this study, we analyzed the rate of aneuploidy and centriole distribution (as a marker of centrosome anomalies) in pluripotent cell lines (pSC) previously derived in our laboratory from pig parthenogenetic embryos and in primary fibroblast cultures and sections obtained from sheep parthenogenetic fetuses (n = 3) that reached 24 days of development in vivo. This protocol was chosen to separate the effect related tooocyte activation from those of the procedures used to derive pSC lines. Centriole number and distribution were assessed both by immunocy- tochemical analysis using an anti-centrin-1 antibody (1 : 200, Abcam, Cambridge, UK) and an appropriate secondary antibody, and by ultrastructural evaluation of thin sections, using a Jeol 1010 EX electron microscope (Jeol, Tokyo, Japan). Karyotyping was performed on mitotically active cells. Metaphases were fully karyotyped under a Leica HC microscope (Wetzlar, Germany). Images were then captured with a Leica DC250 digital camera and cells karyotyped using the Leica CW4000 Karyo software. The results obtained indicate that cell lines of parthenogenetic origin have, in all examined cases, an incidence of aneuploidy significantly higher than that of their respective controls. In particular, although the diploid configuration represented the modal value, the majority of the cells displayed a consistently lower number of chromosomes, between <1N (hypohaploid) and >1N to <2N (hypodiploid).This resultis possibly related toa lossofchromosomes during the mitotic process.Ahigher incidence ofmultiple centrioles was also detected, suggesting that aneuploidy may be related to the lack of paternal contribution that results in abnormal centrosome formation, incorrect control of the process of spindle rearrangement, and consequent chromosomal malsegregation.Abnormal segregation and multicentriolar distribution were not limited to parthenogenetic cell lines but was observed in parthenotes as well, indicating that culture artifacts are unlikely to be the cause.

PUR 2007, PUR 2008.

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