Our objective was to explore whether the radiation fallout in Finland after the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in April 1986 led to an increased incidence of trisomy 21. In this geographic and temporal cohort study, the country was divided into three zones according to the amounts of radioactive fallout and internal radiation caused by two cesium isotopes. The 518 cytologically verified cases of trisomy 21 were divided into a control group (conceived before the accident), and a study group of children whose expected dates of birth were in the post-accident years 1987-1988, i.e., pregnancies commenced after May 1986. The cases were also divided into three subgroups according to the zones of radiation. There were no significant differences in prevalence of trisomy 21 between the control and study groups nor between the three zones in spite of the significant differences in the levels of radiation and in the body burden that prevailed throughout the study period. Power estimates showed that in the two zones of lower radiation, an increase of 0.5% in the prevalence would have been detected with a power of 0.85, and in the somewhat smaller zone of the highest radiation, with a power of 0.70. The study lends no further support to the view that the low radiation fallout in western Europe would have been causally associated with trisomy 21.
Additional aberrations of the ETV6 and RUNX1 genes have no prognostic impact in 229 t(12;21)(p13;q22)-positive B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukaemias treated according to the NOPHO-ALL-2000 protocol.
In humans, chromosome-number abnormalities have been associated with altered recombination and increased maternal age. Therefore, age-related effects on recombination are of major importance, especially in relation to the mechanisms involved in human trisomies. Here, we examine the relationship between maternal age and recombination rate in humans. We localized crossovers at high resolution by using over 600,000 markers genotyped in a panel of 69 French-Canadian pedigrees, revealing recombination events in 195 maternal meioses. Overall, we observed the general patterns of variation in fine-scale recombination rates previously reported in humans. However, we make the first observation of a significant decrease in recombination rates with advancing maternal age in humans, likely driven by chromosome-specific effects. The effect appears to be localized in the middle section of chromosomal arms and near subtelomeric regions. We postulate that, for some chromosomes, protection against non-disjunction provided by recombination becomes less efficient with advancing maternal age, which can be partly responsible for the higher rates of aneuploidy in older women. We propose a model that reconciles our findings with reported associations between maternal age and recombination in cases of trisomies.
It has been shown that Neanderthals contributed genetically to modern humans outside Africa 47,000-65,000 years ago. Here we analyse the genomes of a Neanderthal and a Denisovan from the Altai Mountains in Siberia together with the sequences of chromosome 21 of two Neanderthals from Spain and Croatia. We find that a population that diverged early from other modern humans in Africa contributed genetically to the ancestors of Neanderthals from the Altai Mountains roughly 100,000 years ago. By contrast, we do not detect such a genetic contribution in the Denisovan or the two European Neanderthals. We conclude that in addition to later interbreeding events, the ancestors of Neanderthals from the Altai Mountains and early modern humans met and interbred, possibly in the Near East, many thousands of years earlier than previously thought.
The clinical picture and course of APS-I or APD-I/APECED is widely variable: the list of possible disease components includes some 30 disorders. The initial manifestation may not include any of the known characteristic components, namely, mucocutaneous candidiasis, hypoparathyroidism, or adrenocortical insufficiency. Although mutation detection is available, it does not help to exclude this disease. Diagnostic strategy needs to be based on knowledge of the clinical picture, including the features of ectodermal dystrophy.
The reduced folate carrier (RFC) is involved in the transport of methotrexate (MTX) across the cell membrane. The RFC gene (SLC19A1) is located on chromosome 21, and we hypothesized that the RFC80 G>A polymorphism would affect outcome and toxicity in childhood leukemia and that this could interact with chromosome 21 copy number in the leukemic clone. A total of 500 children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia treated according to the common Nordic treatment protocols were included, and we found that the RFC AA variant was associated with a 50% better chance of staying in remission compared with GG or GA variants (P = .046). Increased copy numbers of chromosome 21 appear to improve outcome also in children with GA or GG variant. In a subset of 182 children receiving 608 high-dose MTX courses, we observed higher degree of bone marrow toxicity in patients with the RFC AA variant compared with GA/GG variants (platelet 73 vs 99/105 x 10(9)/L, P = .004, hemoglobin 5.6 vs 5.9/6.0 mmol/L, P = .004) and a higher degree of liver toxicity in patients with RFC GG variant (alanine aminotransferase 167 vs 127/124 U/L, P = .05). In conclusion, the RFC 80G>A polymorphism interacts with chromosome 21 copy numbers and affects both efficacy and toxicity of MTX.
Prognostic significance of additional karyotype abnormalities was studied in 73 children with t(8,21) acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Additional chromosomal aberrations were documented in 61 cases (83.6%). The loss of sex chromosomes and/or deletion of the long arm of chromosome 9 (9q-) were predominant abnormalities, in agreement with the literature data. Other additional abnormalities detected in 14 cases were tentatively designated as "atypical". Comparison of pretreatment cytogenetic data and those obtained during relapses revealed the previously unknown rise in the frequency of atypical abnormalities in AML relapses (to 63.6% vs 19.2% at the first presentation, p
Velo-cardio-facial syndrome (VCFS) is a syndrome associated with haplo-insufficiency of genes at chromosome 22q11. The syndrome has a broad phenotypic spectrum including multiple anomalies, of which cleft palate (CP), congenital heart defects (CHD), and mental disabilities are among the most common. Hence, a high prevalence of 22q11 deletions should be expected among cases with a combination of CP and CHD or/and mental disability. In Denmark a population-based database comprising 2301 CP cases born 1936-1987 has been established. Cases with CP and CHD or/and mental disabilities were selected from the register. By using public registers 39 living cases were identified, among whom 15 agreed to blood sampling and testing for 22q11 deletion using FISH (fluorescence in situ hybridization) analysis. Four deletion cases were identified. Using a polymorphic microsatellite marker (D22S264), two cases were shown to be de novo deletions of maternal origin. The parental origin in the two other cases could not be determined. The patients ranged in age from 7 to 40 years. All patients had mental impairment, and one also showed signs of paranoid psychosis. Two cases had CHD. Furthermore, five cases previously karyotyped had other chromosomal aberrations. The study shows that facial cleft registers are an obvious source for identifying a group of patients with a high risk of VCFS and chromosome 22q11 microdeletion. These individuals as well as their families can benefit from genetic counselling.