The possible influence of the high polymorphic C heterochromatic regions of human chromosomes 1, 9, 16, and Y on meiotic chromosome segregation was investigated. Faulty chromosome segregation may be the result of either an abnormal quantity of C heterochromatin on the homologues, or disequilibrium between the homologues. The aim of our study was to determine whether either a variation in the amounts of total C heterochromatin or differences in the amounts of C heterochromatin between homologues could lead to faulty chromosome segregation. The study was performed on C banded metaphases obtained from peripheral lymphocyte cultures of 15 couples with recurrent early abortions and 15 control couples, all Caucasians. Analysis of variance was first performed on separate metaphases to measure intra-individual, inter-individual, and between population variation in a hierarchical model. Since the significant intra-individual differences covered the other parameters we performed, secondly, a one way analysis of variance on the mean values of metaphases per person in order to measure the inter-individual and between population variation. The results did not show a relationship between C heterochromatin lengths and occurrence of recurrent abortions.
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