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Mutat Res. 2004 Dec 31;565(1):61-77.

Etoposide exposure during male mouse pachytene has complex effects on crossing-over and causes nondisjunction.

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Life Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6420, USA.


In experiments involving different germ-cell stages, we had previously found meiotic prophase of the male mouse to be vulnerable to the induction of several types of genetic damage by the topoisomerase-II inhibitor etoposide. The present study of etoposide effects involved two end points of meiotic events known to occur in primary spermatocytes--chromosomal crossing-over and segregation. By following assortment of 13 microsatellite markers in two chromosomes (Ch 7 and Ch 15) it was shown that etoposide significantly affected crossing-over, but did not do so in a uniform fashion. Treatment generally changed the pattern for each chromosome, leading to local decreases in recombination, a distal shift in locations of crossing-over, and an overall decrease in double crossovers; at least some of these results might be interpreted as evidence for increased interference. Two methods were used to explore etoposide effects on chromosome segregation: a genetic experiment capable of detecting sex-chromosome nondisjunction in living progeny; and the use of FISH (fluorescence in situ hybridization) technology to score numbers of Chromosomes X, Y, and 8 in spermatozoa. Taken together these two approaches indicated that etoposide exposure of pachytene spermatocytes induces malsegregation, and that the findings of the genetic experiment probably yielded a marked underestimate of nondisjunction. As indicated by certain segregants, at least part of the etoposide effect could be due to disrupted pairing of achiasmatic homologs, followed by precocious sister-centromere separation. It has been shown for several organisms that absent or reduced levels of recombination, as well as suboptimally positioned recombination events, may be associated with abnormal segregation. Etoposide is the only chemical tested to date for which living progeny indicates an effect on both male meiotic crossing-over and chromosome segregation. Whether, however, etoposide-induced changes in recombination patterns are direct causes of the observed malsegregation requires additional investigation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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