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Array comparative genomic hybridization analyses of all blastomeres of a cohort of embryos from young IVF patients revealed significant contribution of mitotic errors to embryo mosaicism at the cleavage stage

Judy F C Chow, William S B Yeung, Estella Y L Lau, Vivian C Y Lee, Ernest H Y Ng, Pak-Chung Ho
Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology: RB&E 2014, 12: 105
25420429

BACKGROUND: Embryos produced by in vitro fertilization (IVF) have a high level of aneuploidy, which is believed to be a major factor affecting the success of human assisted reproduction treatment. The aneuploidy rate of cleavage stage embryos based on 1-2 biopsied blastomeres has been well-reported, however, the true aneuploidy rate of whole embryos remain unclear because of embryo mosaicism. To study the prevalence of mosaicism in top quality IVF embryos, surplus embryos donated from young patients (aged 28-32) in the assisted reproduction program at Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong were used.

METHODS: Thirty-six good quality day 2 embryos were thawed. Out of the 135 blastomeres in these embryos, 121 (89.6%) survived thawing. Twelve of these embryos without lysed blastomeres and which cleaved to at least seven cells after a 24-h culture were dissembled into individual blastomeres, which were analysed by array comparative genomic hybridization and microsatellite marker analysis by fluorescent PCR.

RESULTS: Out of 12 day-3 embryos, 2 (16.7%) were normal, 3 (25%) were diploid/aneuploidy with <38% abnormality, 4 (33.3%) were diploid/aneuploidy mosaic with > =38% abnormality, and three (25%) were mosaic aneuploids. Conclusive chromosomal data were obtained from a high percentage of blastomeres (92.8%, 90/97). Microsatellite marker analysis performed on blastomeres in aneuploid embryos enabled us to reconstruct the chromosomal status of the blastomeres in each cleavage division. The results showed the occurrence of meiotic errors in 3 (25%) of the studied embryos. There were 16 mitotic errors (18.8%, 16/85) in the 85 mitotic divisions undertaken by the studied embryos. The observed mitotic errors were mainly contributed by endoreduplication (31.3%, 5/16), non-disjunction (25%, 4/16) and anaphase lagging (25%, 4/16). Chromosome breakages occurred in 6 divisions (7.1%, 6/85).

CONCLUSIONS: Mosaicism occurs in a high percentage of good-quality cleavage stage embryos and mitotic errors contribute significantly to the abnormality.

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