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Mosaicism in 45,X Turner syndrome: does survival in early pregnancy depend on the presence of two sex chromosomes?

Publication at Second Faculty of Medicine |


Cytogenetic and molecular genetic findings in 91 patients with Turner syndrome are reported. In 87 patients, chromosome studies were carried out both in lymphocyte and fibroblast cultures.

Mosaicism was demonstrated in 58 of these patients (66.7%), whereas only 18 (20.7%) were apparent non-mosaic 45,X, and 11 patients (12.6%) showed non-mosaic structural aberrations of the X chromosome. Among the mosaic cases 16 (18.4% of all patients) displayed a second cell line containing small marker chromosomes.

The association of Y-specific chromosomal material with the presence of marker chromosomes was demonstrated in 6 out of 7 mixoploid fibroblast cell lines by polymerase chain reaction amplification and by Southern-blot analysis. The observation of ring formation and morphological variability in vivo and in vitro, and the continous reduction in the percentage of cells containing marker chromosomes in longterm cultivation experiments indicated an increased instability of marker chromosomes.

The findings suggest that in vivo selection of structurally altered sex chromosomes exists. Thus, the observation of apparent non-mosaic 45,X chromosomal complements in liveborn individuals with Turner syndrome does not contradict the hypothesis that some degree of mosaicism is necessary for survival in early pregnancy.