Single sperm typing demonstrates that reduced recombination is associated with the production of aneuploid 24,XY human sperm

Am J Med Genet. 2001 Feb 15;99(1):34-8. doi: 10.1002/1096-8628(20010215)99:1<34::aid-ajmg1106>;2-d.


To account for the increased proportion of paternal nondisjunction in 47,XXY males as compared to other trisomies, it has been suggested that the XY bivalent, with its reduced region of homology, is particularly susceptible to nondisjunction. Molecular studies of liveborn Klinefelter syndrome (47,XXY) individuals have reported an association between the absence of recombination in the pseudoautosomal region and nondisjunction of the XY bivalent. In this study we examined single sperm from a normal 46,XY male to determine if there is any alteration in the recombination frequency of aneuploid disomic 24,XY sperm compared to unisomic sperm (23,X or Y). Two DNA markers STS/STS pseudogene and DXYS15 were typed in sperm from a heterozygous man to determine if recombination had occurred in the pseudoautosomal region. Individual unisomic sperm (23,X or Y) were isolated using a FACStar(Plus) flow cytometer into PCR tubes. To identify disomic 24,XY sperm, 3-colour FISH analysis was performed with probes for chromosomes X,Y and 1. The 24,XY cells were identified using fluorescence microscopy, each disomic sperm was scraped off the slide using a glass needle attached to a micromanipulator and then put into a PCR tube. Hemi-nested PCR analysis of the two markers was performed to determine the frequency of recombination. A total of 329 unisomic sperm and 150 disomic sperm have been typed. The frequency of recombination between the two DNA markers was 38.3% for the unisomic sperm, similar to frequencies previously reported. The 24,XY disomic sperm had an estimated recombination frequency of 25.3%, however, a highly significant decrease compared to the unisomic 23,X or 23,Y sperm (chi(2) = 10.7, P = 0.001). This direct analysis of human sperm indicates that lack of recombination in the pseudoautosomal region is a significant cause of XY nondisjunction and thus Klinefelter syndrome.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aneuploidy*
  • Humans
  • Karyotyping
  • Male
  • Microsatellite Repeats
  • Middle Aged
  • Recombination, Genetic / genetics*
  • Sex Chromosomes / genetics*
  • Spermatozoa / metabolism*
  • X Chromosome / genetics
  • Y Chromosome / genetics