Causes and consequences of chromosome segregation error in preimplantation embryos
Errors in chromosome segregation are common during the mitotic divisions of preimplantation development in mammalian embryos, giving rise to so-called ‘mosaic’ embryos possessing a mixture of euploid and aneuploid cells. Mosaicism is widely considered to be detrimental to embryo quality and is frequently used as criteria to select embryos for transfer in human fertility clinics. However, despite the clear clinical importance, the underlying defects in cell division that result in mosaic aneuploidy remain elusive. In this review, we summarise recent findings from clinical and animal model studies that provide new insights into the fundamental mechanisms of chromosome segregation in the highly unusual cellular environment of early preimplantation development and consider recent clues as to why errors should commonly occur in this setting. We furthermore discuss recent evidence suggesting that mosaicism is not an irrevocable barrier to a healthy pregnancy. Understanding the causes and biological impacts of mosaic aneuploidy will be pivotal in the development and fine-tuning of clinical embryo selection methods.
Source: The journal of Reproductive Science