Meiotic Nondisjunction: Insights into the Origin and Significance of Aneuploidy in Human Spermatozoa

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2015;868:1-21. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-18881-2_1.


Chromosome aneuploidy refers to changes in the chromosome complement of a genome and can include gain or loss of genetic material. The human genome is delicately balanced, and for the most part perturbations in the chromosome complement are often incompatible with embryonic development. The importance and clinical relevance of paternally derived aneuploidy is often overshadowed by the large maternal contribution; as a result, the paternal contribution to pregnancy loss due to chromosome aneuploidy is rarely considered within the clinic. However, there is increasing evidence to suggest that certain men have significantly higher levels of sperm aneuploidy, which is mirrored by an increase in aneuploidy within their embryos and offspring. Therefore, the paternal contribution to aneuploidy at least for some individuals may have greater clinical significance than is currently perceived. Thus, the main focus of this chapter is to provide insights into the origin and clinical relevance of paternally derived aneuploidy. Furthermore, this section will review the general mechanisms through which aneuploidy arises during spermatogenesis and how numerical (whole chromosome) and structural chromosome aberrations (cytogenetically visible or submicroscopic) may lead to clinically relevant aneuploidy potentially resulting in pregnancy loss, congenital malformations, and cognitive impairment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aneuploidy*
  • Chromosome Aberrations
  • Genome, Human
  • Humans
  • Karyotyping
  • Male
  • Meiosis*
  • Spermatozoa / cytology*