Developmental potential of aneuploid human embryos cultured beyond implantation

Nat Commun. 2020 Aug 10;11(1):3987. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-17764-7.


Aneuploidy, the presence of an abnormal number of chromosomes, is a major cause of early pregnancy loss in humans. Yet, the developmental consequences of specific aneuploidies remain unexplored. Here, we determine the extent of post-implantation development of human embryos bearing common aneuploidies using a recently established culture platform. We show that while trisomy 15 and trisomy 21 embryos develop similarly to euploid embryos, monosomy 21 embryos exhibit high rates of developmental arrest, and trisomy 16 embryos display a hypo-proliferation of the trophoblast, the tissue that forms the placenta. Using human trophoblast stem cells, we show that this phenotype can be mechanistically ascribed to increased levels of the cell adhesion protein E-CADHERIN, which lead to premature differentiation and cell cycle arrest. We identify three cases of mosaicism in embryos diagnosed as full aneuploid by pre-implantation genetic testing. Our results present the first detailed analysis of post-implantation development of aneuploid human embryos.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aneuploidy*
  • Antigens, CD / genetics
  • Cadherins / genetics
  • Cadherins / metabolism
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Cycle Checkpoints
  • Cell Lineage
  • Chromosome Segregation
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 16
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 21
  • Embryo Implantation / genetics*
  • Embryo, Mammalian*
  • Embryonic Development*
  • Female
  • Genes, erbB-1 / genetics
  • Genetic Testing
  • Humans
  • Monosomy
  • Mosaicism
  • Pregnancy
  • Stem Cells
  • Trisomy


  • Antigens, CD
  • CDH1 protein, human
  • Cadherins

Supplementary concepts

  • Chromosome 16, trisomy
  • Chromosome 21 monosomy