Cigarette smoking and aneuploidy in human sperm

Qinghua Shi, Evelyn Ko, Leona Barclay, Tina Hoang, Alfred Rademaker, Renée Martin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


Cigarette smoke contains chemicals which are capable of inducing aneuploidy in experimental systems. These chemicals have been shown to reach the male reproductive system, increasing oxidative DNA damage in human sperm and lowering semen quality. We have examined the association between smoking and aneuploid sperm by studying 31 Chinese men with similar demographic characteristics and lifestyle factors except for cigarette smoking. None of the men drank alcohol. These men were divided into three groups: nonsmokers (10 men), light smokers (<20 cigarettes/day, 11 men), and heavy smokers (≥20 cigarettes/day, 10 men). There were no significant differences in semen parameters or in age across groups. Two multi-color fluorescence in situ hybridizations (FISH) were performed: two-color FISH for chromosomes 13 and 21, and three-color FISH for the sex chromosomes using chromosome 1 as an internal autosomal control for diploidy and lack of hybridization. The mean hybridization efficiency was 99.78%. The frequency of disomy 13 was significantly higher in light and heavy smokers than in nonsmokers, while no significant differences in the frequency of disomy 21, X or Y were observed across groups. Significant inter-donor heterogeneity in every category of disomic sperm examined was found in both light and heavy smokers, while in nonsmokers only XY disomy showed significant inter-donor differences. Thus, we conclude that cigarette smoking may increase the risk of aneuploidy only for certain chromosomes and that men may have different susceptibilities to aneuploidy in germ cells induced by cigarette smoking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)417-421
Number of pages5
JournalMolecular reproduction and development
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 12 2001


  • Aneuploidy
  • Chromosome abnormalities
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Fluorescence in situ hybridization
  • Human sperm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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