Human sperm chromosome complements after microinjection of hamster eggs

R. H. Martin, E. Ko, A. Rademaker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


A technique was developed for microinjection of human spermatozoa into golden hamster (Mesocricetus auratus) eggs to obtain human pronuclear chromosome complements. Before microinjection the spermatozoa were treated by brief sonication or incubation in TEST-yolk buffer to reduce motility. Very few sperm chromosome complements developed after sperm treatment with sonication and the frequency of spermatozoa with structural chromosomal abnormalities was exceedingly high (91%). The majority of sperm chromosome complements analysed had multiple breaks and rearrangements. Sperm incubation in TEST-yolk buffer before microinjection provided more analysable sperm karyotypes with a significantly lower frequency of structural chromosomal abnormalities (39%, P < 0.001). Our results therefore suggest that sonication induces structural chromosomal abnormalities in spermatozoa. Since the frequency of chromosomal abnormalities after microinjection was higher than after sperm fertilization of hamster eggs, it appears that microinjection per se may also increase the frequency of chromosomal abnormalities in spermatozoa. These results are based on small numbers and must be confirmed on larger sample sizes, but our study suggests that microinjection of spermatozoa into eggs should not be recommended for clinical use until fully evaluated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-186
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Reproduction and Fertility
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Embryology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Developmental Biology


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