Background: Nowadays, oocyte donation is an extended practise in IVF programmes. However, to date, little information on aneuploidy frequency in oocytes from donors is available. Aneuploidy is one of the major causes of embryo and fetal wastage as well as of congenital mental and developmental disabilities. It is known that most aneuploidies are due to non-disjunction events occurring in the maternal germ line. Linkage studies have associated abnormal patterns of meiotic recombination to the origin of the non-disjunction event in many aneuploid conditions. methods and results: In the present study, we analyse the frequency of chromosome imbalances in a series of metaphase I (MI; n 44) and metaphase II (MII; n 103) oocytes from 140 young donors (aged from 18 to 35 years, mean age 26.6) after hormone-induced superovulation. The aneuploidy frequency found in MII oocytes was 12.6%, and both whole-chromosome non-disjunction (1.94%) and premature separation of sister chromatids (PSSC) (12.6%) have been found. The chromosomes involved have been identified by multiplex fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). Achiasmate chromosomes have been identified in MI oocytes (9.1%), with most of them corresponding to chromosome 16 (6.8%). For this reason, the meiotic recombination pattern of chromosome 16 has been analysed in prophase I oocytes (n 81) by immunofluorescence staining against MLH1 protein and subsequent FISH with specific probes. Our results show a percentage of oocytes with non-crossover bivalent 16 (2.5%) and a high percentage of bivalents 16 with a single exchange (19.8%). conclusions: In the present study, we report the finding of a considerable frequency of aneuploidy in oocytes from young donors, with the frequency of PSSC being higher than the frequency of whole-chromosome non-disjunction. In addition, we report vulnerable patterns of meiotic recombination in chromosome 16 that may be at risk of leading to a non-disjunction event. This gives new data on the susceptibility of the control population to conceive a trisomic 16 embryo.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-191
Number of pages13
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


  • Aneuploidy
  • Chromosome non-disjunction
  • Meiotic recombination
  • Oocyte donor
  • Trisomy 16


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