Male pachytene pairing in single and double translocation heterozygotes and spermatogenic impairment in the mouse

Chromosoma. 1986;93(4):326-36. doi: 10.1007/BF00327591.


In order to clarify the relationship between meiotic pairing and progress of spermatogenesis, an analysis of male meiotic pairing was carried out in four reciprocal translocation heterozygotes and two double heterozygotes for two semi-identical reciprocal translocations. The reciprocal translocations were chosen to range from fertility (T70H/+) through almost complete sterility (T31H/+) to complete sterility (T32H/+, T42/H+). If meiotic pairing in the translocation multivalent was incomplete, it concerned terminal or probably more often proximal chromosome segments (Chain IV). If both segments failed to pair the multivalent symbol is Chain III + I. Complete pairing is symbolized by Ring IV. To contrast and complement observations of this type, the double heterozygotes were introduced. Males of this type in theory possess two heteromorphic bivalents with a central area of incomplete meiotic pairing (loop formation). Of the T70H/T1Wa double heterozygotes, 36% of the males are capable of inducing at least one decidual reaction in two females whereas for T26H/T2Wa, 79% of the males can do so. For the reciprocal translocations, it was found that proximity of the multivalent to the sex bivalent during pachytene increased in the order Ring IV, Chain IV, Chain III + I. The degree of spermatogenic impairment as measured from cell counts in histological sections and tubular whole mounts, is positively related to the frequency of proximity between the sex chromosomes and the translocation multivalent and thus to lack of meiotic pairing within the multivalent. The meiotic pairing analysis of the double heterozygotes yielded the following findings. For the long heteromorphic bivalents a true loop was never seen in T70H/T1Wa and only rarely observed in T26H/T2Wa. Small marker bivalents of both types were usually recognizable by the following criteria: pairing confined to distal or proximal segments, both distal and proximal segments pairing and loop formation and pairing covering the entire length of both "homologues" but the longer one often with a "thickened" lateral element. The same positive correlation between the absence of pairing (proximal, distal or central) and the proximity of the small marker bivalent synaptonemal complex to the sex bivalent has been found as for unpaired segments within reciprocal translocation multivalents. One unexpected finding was the occurrence of diploid spermatids and spermatozoa especially in T32H/+ males (70-91%) but also in T31H/+ (3-39%).

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • Female
  • Heterozygote*
  • Male
  • Meiosis
  • Mice
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Seminiferous Tubules / pathology
  • Spermatocytes / pathology
  • Spermatocytes / ultrastructure
  • Spermatogenesis*
  • Synaptonemal Complex
  • Translocation, Genetic*