In vivo repair of DNA damage induced by X-rays in the early stages of mouse fertilization, and the influence of maternal PARP1 ablation

F. Pacchierotti, R. Ranaldi, A.A. Derijck, G.W. van der Heijden, P. de Boer

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The early pronucleus stage of the mouse zygote has been characterised in vitro as radiosensitive, due to a high rate of induction of chromosome-type chromosome abnormalities (CA). We have investigated the repair of irradiation induced double strand DNA breaks in vivo by γH2AX foci and first cleavage metaphase analysis. Breaks were induced in sperm and in the early zygote stages comprising sperm chromatin remodelling and early pronucleus expansion. Moreover, the role of PARP1 in the formation and repair of spontaneous and radiation-induced double strand breaks in the zygote was evaluated by comparing observations in C57BL/6J and PARP1 genetically ablated females. The results confirmed in vivo that the rate of chromosome aberration induction by X-rays was approximately 3-fold higher in the zygote than in mouse lymphocytes. This finding was related to a diminished efficiency of double strand break signalling, as shown by a lower rate of γH2AX radiation-induced foci compared to that measured in most other somatic cell types. The spontaneous frequency of CA in PARP1 depleted zygotes was slightly but significantly higher than in wild type zygotes. Also, these zygotes showed some impairment of the radiation-induced DNA Damage Response when exposed closer to the start of S-phase, revealed by a higher number of γH2AX foci and a longer cell cycle delay. The rate of chromosome aberrations, however, was not elevated over that of wild type zygotes, possibly thanks to backup repair pathways and/or selection mechanisms against damaged cells. When comparing with the literature data on irradiation induced CA in mouse zygotes in vitro, the levels of induction were strikingly similar as was the frequency of misrepair of double strand breaks (γH2AX foci). This result can be reassuring for in vitro human gamete and embryo handling, because it shows that culture conditions do not significantly affect double strand DNA break repair. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44 - 52
Number of pages9
JournalMutation Research - Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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