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J Assist Reprod Genet. 2015 May;32(5):765-9. doi: 10.1007/s10815-015-0453-y. Epub 2015 Mar 11.

Age-associated alterations in the micromechanical properties of chromosomes in the mammalian egg.

Author information

1
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, 303 E. Superior Street, Lurie 10-121, Chicago, IL, 60611, USA, j-hornick@northwestern.edu.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

The incidence of aneuploidy in eggs from women of advanced reproductive age can exceed 60%, making the mammalian egg a unique model system to study the mechanisms of chromosome segregation errors.

METHODS:

Here we applied a novel biophysical chromosome stretching approach to quantify mechanical stiffness of meiotic chromosomes in the mammalian egg and then documented how these properties changed in a mouse model of physiologic reproductive aging.

RESULTS:

We found significant differences in chromosome micromechanics, and thus in higher order chromosome structure, coincident with advanced reproductive age, a time that is also unequivocally associated with an increase in egg aneuploidy.

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings have important implications for both reproductive and cancer biology where aneuploidy plays a central role in aging related disease states.

PMID:
25758987
PMCID:
PMC4429432
DOI:
10.1007/s10815-015-0453-y
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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