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Birth Defects Res C Embryo Today. 2005 Jun;75(2):112-29.

Mechanisms and consequences of paternally-transmitted chromosomal abnormalities.

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Biosciences Directorate, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA 94550, USA.


Paternally-transmitted chromosomal damage has been associated with pregnancy loss, developmental and morphological defects, infant mortality, infertility, and genetic diseases in the offspring, including cancer. There is epidemiological evidence linking paternal exposure to occupational or environmental agents with an increased risk of abnormal reproductive outcomes. There is also a large body of literature on germ cell mutagenesis in rodents showing that treatment of male germ cells with mutagens has dramatic consequences on reproduction, producing effects such as those observed in human epidemiological studies. However, we know very little about the etiology, transmission, and early embryonic consequences of paternally-derived chromosomal abnormalities. The available evidence suggests that: 1) there are distinct patterns of germ cell-stage differences in the sensitivity of induction of transmissible genetic damage, with male postmeiotic cells being the most sensitive; 2) cytogenetic abnormalities at first metaphase after fertilization are critical intermediates between paternal exposure and abnormal reproductive outcomes; and 3) there are maternal susceptibility factors that may have profound effects on the amount of sperm DNA damage that is converted into chromosomal aberrations in the zygote and that directly affect the risk for abnormal reproductive outcomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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