Allele dropout in polar bodies and blastomeres

J Assist Reprod Genet. 1998 May;15(5):253-7. doi: 10.1023/a:1022532108472.


Purpose: Because allele dropout (ADO) is frequently observed in single-cell polymerase chain reaction analysis, it is important to develop a method for efficient detection of ADO, in order to avoid possible misdiagnosis in preimplantation diagnosis.

Methods: We introduced a simultaneous amplification of mutant genes and linked polymorphic markers, such as a 4-bp repeat (GATT) at the 3' end of intron 6 in the cystic fibrosis (CF) gene and a short tandem repeat at the 5' end of the beta-globin gene. Three types of single heterozygous cells were studied for the amplification of both alleles, including 150 blastomeres, 1615 fibroblasts, and 170 first polar bodies, obtained from patients at risk for having children with cystic fibrosis (delta F-508 mutation) or sickle cell disease.

Results: ADO rates of as high as 33.3% for delta F-508 mutation and 22.8% for beta-globin gene were observed in single blastomeres, compared to 7.1 and 7.7% in single fibroblasts and 5.9 and 9.6% in first polar bodies, respectively. The application of simultaneous amplification of the above linked polymorphic markers allowed detection of more than half of the cases of ADO in blastomeres (19.4% for cystic fibrosis and 12.3% for beta-globin gene) and almost all ADOs in polar bodies, particularly when the two-step sequential analysis of the first and second polar body was applied in preimplantation diagnosis of single gene disorders.

Conclusions: Simultaneous amplification of linked polymorphic markers in single-cell DNA analysis of single-gene defects is an efficient method for avoiding the risk of misdiagnosis in preimplantation diagnosis.

MeSH terms

  • Alleles*
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / genetics
  • Blastomeres / physiology*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / genetics
  • Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator / genetics
  • DNA Probes / genetics
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / physiology
  • Globins / genetics
  • Humans
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Preimplantation Diagnosis


  • CFTR protein, human
  • DNA Probes
  • Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator
  • Globins