Distribution of aneuploidy in human gametes: comparison between human sperm and oocytes

Am J Med Genet. 1991 Jun 1;39(3):321-31. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.1320390315.


The frequency and distribution of aneuploidy was compared in 11,615 karyotyped human sperm and 772 karyotyped human oocytes to determine if all chromosomes are equally likely to be involved in aneuploid events or if some chromosomes are particularly susceptible to nondisjunction. The frequency of hypohaploidy and hyperhaploidy was compared among different chromosome groups and individual chromosomes for human sperm and oocytes. In general, hypohaploid chromosome complements were more frequent than hyperhaploid complements, in sperm and oocytes. The distribution of chromosome loss in the hypohaploid complements indicated that significantly fewer of the large chromosomes and significantly more of the small chromosomes were lost, suggesting that technical loss predominantly affects small chromosomes. A conservative estimate of aneuploidy (2 X hyperhaploidy) was approximately 3-4% in the human sperm and 18-19% in human oocytes. All chromosome groups were represented among hyperhaploid human sperm and oocytes. For human sperm, the observed frequency of hyperhaploidy equaled the expected frequency based on the assumption that the frequency of nondisjunction is equal for all chromosome groups, with two exceptions: group G and the sex chromosomes. Among individual chromosomes in human sperm, chromosomes 1 and 21 and the sex chromosomes had a significant excess of hyperhaploidy. For human oocytes, there were fewer hyperhaploid oocytes than expected for chromosome groups C and F and more than expected for chromosome groups D and G. Among individual chromosomes there was a significant excess for chromosome 21. These results indicate that all chromosomes are susceptible to nondisjunction but that chromosome 21 is particularly prone to aneuploidy in both human sperm and oocytes. They also demonstrate that sex chromosome aneuploidy is common in human sperm but not in human oocytes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aneuploidy*
  • Chromosomes, Human
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 21
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oocytes / ultrastructure*
  • Spermatozoa / ultrastructure*
  • X Chromosome
  • Y Chromosome