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There is extensive evidence for the existence of a meiotic checkpoint that acts to eliminate spermatocytes that fail to achieve full sex chromosome synapsis at the pachytene stage of the first meiotic prophase. XYY mice are nearly always sterile, with clear signs of meiotic impairment, and sex chromosome asynapsis has been proposed to underlie this impairment. However, a study of XYY*X mice (mice having three sex chromosomes but only a single dose of Y genes) revealed that these mice are fertile, and thus implicated Y gene dosage as a major factor in the sterility of XYY mice. To address this question further, sex chromosome synapsis and spermatogenic proficiency were compared between XYY*X and XYY mice generated in the same litters. This established that differences in spermatogenic proficiency within and between the two genotypes correlated with the frequency of radial trivalent formation (full sex chromosome synapsis); XYY*X males, as a group, had double the radial trivalent frequency of XYY males. This observation provides strong support for the view that sex chromosome asynapsis (or some consequence thereof), rather than Y gene dosage, is the major factor leading to the meiotic impairment of XYY mice.
Copyright © 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel
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