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Eur J Hum Genet. 1999 May-Jun;7(4):421-6.

Mosaic trisomy 17 in amniocytes: phenotypic outcome, tissue distribution, and uniparental disomy studies.

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  • 1Istituto di Genetica Medica, Facolt√† di Medicina e Chirurgia A Gemelli, Universit√† Cattolica del S Cuore.


Mosaicism for trisomy 17 in amniocyte cultures is a rare finding, whilst postnatal cases are exceptional. In order to gain insight into the possible effects of the distribution of the trisomic line and of uniparental disomy (UPD) on embryofoetal development, we have performed follow-up clinical, cytogenetic and molecular investigations into three newly detected prenatal cases of trisomy 17 mosaicism identified in cultured amniotic fluid. In the first case, the pregnancy ended normally with the birth of a healthy girl, and analysis of newborn lymphocytes and of multiple extra-embryonic tissues was indicative of confined placental mosaicism. The second case was also associated with a normal pregnancy outcome and postnatal development, and only euploid cells were found in peripheral blood after birth. However, maternal isodisomy 17 consequent to a meiosis II error and loss of a chromosome 17 homologue was detected in peripheral lymphocytes postnatally. In the third case, pathological examination after termination of pregnancy showed growth retardation and minor dysmorphisms, and the trisomic line was detected in foetal skin fibroblasts. In addition, biparental derivation of chromosome 17 was demonstrated in the euploid lineage. These results, together with previously reported data, indicate that true amniotic trisomy 17 mosaicism is more commonly of extra-embryonic origin and associated with normal foetal development. Phenotypic consequences may arise when the trisomic line is present in foetal tissues. Case 2 also represents the first observation of maternal UPD involving chromosome 17; the absence of phenotypic anomalies in the child suggests that chromosome 17 is not likely to be subject to imprinting in maternal gametes.

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