Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics

, Volume 11, Issue 8, pp 382–388 | Cite as

Cytogenetic analysis of human oocytes parthenogenetically activated by puromycin

  • Paul De Sutter
  • Dmitri Dozortsev
  • Philippe Vrijens
  • Rita Desmet
  • Marc Dhont



Treatment of aged human oocytes by puromycin allows a high rate of parthenogenetic activation and development until the first cleavage division. This technique was used for the study of the chromosome complement of oocytes which remained unfertilized after in vitro fertilization. Three hundred four unfertilized oocytes were treated with 10 Μg/ml puromycin for 6–8 hr and further cultured for 12–15 hr.


Activation occurred in 90.5% of the oocytes. Heterozygous diploids with two pronuclei predominated (61%), which is in contrast to the mouse, where the majority of oocytes activated by puromycin are uniform haploids (89%).


Therefore we conclude that puromycin treatment induces retention of the second polar body in human oocytes, unlike in mouse oocytes treated in the same way. Chromosome analysis performed on 182 oocytes suggested a nondisjunction (ND) rate for the second meiotic division of 12.7%. This is a low figure considering the fact that puromycin itself has been reported to induce nondisjunction. For the first meiotic division a ND rate of only 5.6% was found. This rate is lower than the one found in metaphase II arrested oocytes and we believe that this difference is due to the technical differences between the study of meiotic and that of mitotic chromosomes.

Key words

chromosomes human oocytes parthenogenesis puromycin 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul De Sutter
    • 1
  • Dmitri Dozortsev
    • 1
  • Philippe Vrijens
    • 1
  • Rita Desmet
    • 1
  • Marc Dhont
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Infertility, Department of Obstetrics/GynecologyUniversity HospitalGentBelgium

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