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Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research

On-line version ISSN 1414-431X


SILVA-GRECCO, R.L.; NAVARRO, G.C.; CRUZ, R.M.  and  BALARIN, M.A.S.. Micronucleated lymphocytes in parents of Down syndrome children. Braz J Med Biol Res [online]. 2012, vol.45, n.7, pp.573-577.  Epub Apr 26, 2012 ISSN 1414-431X.

Down syndrome (DS) is the most common disease due to an autosomal aneuploidy in live born children and also the major known genetic cause of mental retardation. The risk of a DS pregnancy increases substantially with increasing maternal age. However, several women aged less than 35 years at conception have a child with DS. The micronucleus (MN) assay can identify chromosome breakage or chromosome malsegregation and is an ideal biomarker to investigate genomic instability. The aim of the present study was to determine the frequency of peripheral lymphocytes with MN in the parents of DS individuals. The subjects were 17 couples, 1 father and 9 mothers, and 24 couples who had at least one healthy child formed the control group. For each individual we evaluated the frequency of binucleated micronucleated lymphocytes (BNMN%) as number of binucleated lymphocytes containing one or more MN per 1000 binucleated cells. The mean age of DS parents and controls was 32.6 and 29.8 years, respectively. The frequency of MN in DS parents was significantly higher compared to controls. The higher frequency of MN in DS parents suggests a higher predisposition of DS parents to aneuploidy events in this sample.

Keywords : Micronuclei; Parents of Down syndrome children; Chromosomal nondisjunction; Down syndrome.

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