Indexed on: 26 Nov '11Published on: 26 Nov '11Published in: Reproductive BioMedicine Online
Small supernumerary marker chromosomes (sSMC) are structurally abnormal chromosomes that cannot be unambiguously identified by conventional banding cytogenetics. This study describes four patients with sSMC in relation with infertility. Patient 1 had primary infertility. His brother, fertile, carried the same sSMC (patient 2). Patient 3 presented polycystic ovary syndrome and patient 4 primary ovarian insufficiency. Cytogenetic studies, array comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) and sperm analyses were compared with cases previously reported. sSMC corresponded to the 15q11.2 region (patients 1 and 2), the centromeric chromosome 15 region (patient 3) and the 21p11.2 region (patient 4). Array CGH showed 3.6-Mb gain for patients 1 and 2 and 0.266-Mb gain for patient 4. Sperm fluorescent in-situ hybridization analyses found ratios of 0.37 and 0.30 of sperm nuclei with sSMC(15) for patients 1 and 2, respectively (P < 0.001). An increase of sperm nuclei with disomy X, Y and 18 was noted for patient 1 compared with control and patient 2 (P < 0.001). Among the genes mapped in the unbalanced chromosomal regions, POTE B and BAGE are related to the testis and ovary, respectively. The implication of sSMC in infertility could be due to duplication, but also to mechanical effects perturbing meiosis.