Meiotic recombination and spermatogenic impairment in Mus musculus domesticus carrying multiple simple Robertsonian translocations. uri icon


  • We quantitatively analyzed the spermatogenic process, including evaluation of seminiferous tubules with defective cycles, rates of germ cell death and sperm morphology, in adult male mice with standard telocentric chromosomes (2n = 40, CD1 strain), homozygous (2n = 24, Mil II population) and heterozygous (2n = 24 x 40) for Robertsonian (Rb) rearrangements. The animals were analyzed at three different ages: three, five and seven months after birth. The number and position of crossover events were also determined by chiasmata counting and immunostaining with an antibody against mouse MLH1 protein. Our analysis of spermatogenesis confirms the impairment of the spermatogenic process in multiple simple heterozygotes due to both germ cell and abnormal sperm morphology. The detrimental effects exerted by Rb heterozygosities were found to be at least partially buffered with time: the frequency of defective tubules was lower and germ cell survival and sperm morphology better in 7-month-old animals than in the 3- and 5-month-old mice. While there are previously published data on germ cell death in multiple simple heterozygotes, this is the first report of a partial rescue of spermatogenesis with time. The mean frequency of MLH1 foci was lower in Rb homozygous and heterozygous mice than in mice carrying all telocentric chromosomes. The lower number of foci in Rb mice can be ascribed to a decrease in the number of multiple chiasmata and the maintenance of single chiasmata preferentially located in the terminal region of both the telocentric and metacentric chromosomes.

publication date

  • 2003