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Chromosoma. 1980;81(3):315-37.

Synaptosomal complexes and associated structures in microspread human spermatocytes.


Human spermatocytes processed with a modified microspreading technique which involves the use of sodium dodecyl-sulphate (SDS) have been used to construct synaptonemal complex (SC) karyotypes. Twenty two pachytene spermatocytes were selected for length quantitation. The mean values of relative lengths and centromeric indexes of each SC agree closely with values obtained by three-dimensional reconstructions (Holm and Rasmussen, 1977), except for SCs #4--5, 6--7 and 19--20. Absolute lengths are consistently longer in spreads (10.7% longer than in sections, on average). The mean total length of the SC complement is 258.7 micrometer. Six morphological types of XY pairs have been described. On the basis of the relationships between the XY pair, nucleolar development and autosome behavior, these six XY types are assumed to develop in succession. Type O XY pairs occur during late zygotene, types I and II XY pairs occur during early to mid-pachytene, and types III, IV and V occur during later pachytene substages. Alignment of the X and Y axes is observed at late zygotene, and formation of the SC occurs in relation with type I XY pairs. Progressive desynapsis occurs in types II and III. Splitting and fusion of the X and Y axes attain a maximum in types IV and V. The breakdown of the dense bodies associated with the X and Y axes occurs during stage V. --Bar-like structures, having a mean length of 2,100 A are associated with SCs in all the pachytene substages defined by the XY types. The average number of bars per nucleus is 46.2 (SD = 8.4, N = 20), and the average SC length per bar is 5.57 micrometer. The distribution along the SCs of 923 bars shows that near-termini locations are preferred (SC length per bar, 2.98 micrometer) and centromere regions are avoided (SC length per bar, 16.9 micrometer). --On the basis of these data, bars are similar to recombination nodules described in other organisms. The availability of a standard SC karyotype for microspreads and a temporal sequence given by the XY pair provide a basis for rapid screening of chromosome aberrations in human testicular biopsies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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