Centrosome Amplification and Chromosomal Instability in Human and Animal Parthenogenetic Cell Lines

Tiziana A.L. Brevini, Georgia Pennarossa, Sara Maffei, Gianluca Tettamanti, Arianna Vanelli, Sara Isaac, Amir Eden, Sergio Ledda, Magda de Eguileor, Fulvio Gandolfi

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26 Scopus citations


Parthenotes have been proposed as a source of embryonic stem cells but they lack the centriole which is inherited through the sperm in all mammalian species, except for rodents. We investigated the centrosome of parthenotes and parthenogenetic embryonic stem cells using parthenogenetic and biparental pig pre-implantation embryos, human and pig parthenogenetic and biparental embryonic stem cells, sheep fibroblasts derived from post implantation parthenogenetic and biparental embryos developed in vivo. We also determined the level of aneuploidy in parthenogenetic cells. Oocytes of all species were activated using ionomycin and 6-dimethylaminopurine (6-DMAP). Over 60 % of parthenogenetic blastomeres were affected by an excessive number of centrioles. Centrosome amplification, was observed by microscopical and ultrastructural analysis also in parthenogenetic cell lines of all three species. Over expression of PLK2 and down regulation of CCNF, respectively involved in the stimulation and inhibition of centrosome duplication, were present in all species. We also detected down regulation of spindle assembly checkpoint components such as BUB1, CENPE and MAD2. Centrosome amplification was accompanied by multipolar mitotic spindles and all cell lines were affected by a high rate of aneuploidy. These observations indicate a link between centrosome amplification and the high incidence of aneuploidy and suggest that parthenogenetic stem cells may be a useful model to investigate how aneuploidy can be compatible with cell proliferation and differentiation.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1076-1087
Number of pages12
JournalStem Cell Reviews and Reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements GP was supported by INGM and Carraresi Foundation. AV was supported by INGM. This work was supported by PRIN 2007, AIRC IG 10376 and by RAS (Centro Competenza Biodiversità Animale).


  • Cell lines
  • Centrosome
  • Chromosome instability
  • Embryos
  • Foetus
  • Human
  • Parthenogenesis
  • Pig
  • Sheep


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