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J Genet Genomics. 2009 Aug;36(8):467-74. doi: 10.1016/S1673-8527(08)60136-8.

Effects of age on segregation of the X and Y chromosomes in cultured lymphocytes from Chinese men.

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Laboratory of Molecular and Cell Genetics, Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at Microscale, School of Life Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230027, China.


Chromosome malsegregation in binucleated lymphocytes is a useful endpoint to evaluate age effect on genetic stability. However, the investigations on chromosome malsegregation in binucleated lymphocytes from Chinese are scarce. In this study, peripheral blood lymphocytes were collected from 14 old (60-70 years) and 10 young (22-26 years) healthy Chinese men. To detect malsegregation of the sex chromosomes, multi-color fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) was performed on binucleated lymphocytes, cytokinesis-blocked by cytochalasin B at the first mitosis after phytohaemagglutinin stimulation. Compared with that in young men, a significant increase in frequencies of loss of chromosome X (9.2 +/- 3.2 per thousand vs. 1.1 +/- 0.9 per thousand, P < 0.001) and Y (2.5 +/- 1.9 per thousand vs. 0.2 +/- 0.3 per thousand, P < 0.001) was found in old men. Similarly, nondisjunction of chromosome X (16.5 +/- 3.4 per thousand vs. 3.5 +/- 1.1 per thousand, P < 0.001) and Y (7.2 +/- 2.6 per thousand vs. 2.4 +/- 1.3 per thousand, P < 0.001) occurred more frequently in old men than in young men. Regardless of donor's age, nondisjunction is more prevalent than loss for both chromosome X and Y. The frequencies of observed simultaneous malsegregation were relatively higher than the expected, suggesting an association between malsegregation. These results indicated that in Chinese men, malsegregation of the sex chromosomes increases with age in an associated fashion, and nondisjunction accounts for the majority of spontaneous chromosome malsegregation.

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