Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract. Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is an autosomal dominant genetic disorder characterized by the presence of brittle bones and decreased bone mass (osteopenia), as a result of mutations in the genes that encode the chains of type I collagen, the major protein of bone. The clinical features of the disease range from death in the perinatal period to normal life span with minimal increase in fractures. The present report describes two polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based assays allowing preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) on the one hand for OI type I, the mildest form, and on the other hand for OI type IV, which is intermediate in severity between OI type I and OI type III. In the couple referred for PGD for OI type I, the female partner carried a 1-bp deletion in exon 43 of the COL1A1 gene, resulting in a premature stop codon in exon 46. The synthesis of too little type I procollagen results from such a non-functional or COL1A1 null allele. In the other couple, referred for PGD for OI type IV, the male partner carried a G to A substitution in exon 19 of the COL1A2 gene, which results in an abnormal gene product due to an αGly247 (GGT) to Ser (AGT) substitution (G247S). Both mutations result in the loss of a specific restriction enzyme recognition site and can therefore be detected by PCR amplification followed by restriction fragment analysis. PCR amplification of genomic DNA of the parents-to-be with one of the two primers fluorescently labelled, followed by automated laser fluorescence (ALF) gel electrophoresis of the amplified and restricted fragments, allowed a distinction between the healthy and affected genotypes. PCR on single Epstein-Barr-virus (EBV)-transformed lymphoblasts resulted in acceptable amplification efficiencies (87% and 85% for OI type I and OI type IV respectively) and the allele drop-out (ADO) rate was assessed at 11.5% and 11.1% for OI type I and OI type IV respectively. With research blastomeres, 100% amplification rates were obtained and no contamination was observed in the blank controls, which validated the tests for clinical application. Embryos obtained after intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) were evaluated for the presence of the normal genotype of the non-affected parent. For OI type I, two frozen-thawed ICSI-PGD cycles and two fresh ICSI-PGD cycles were carried out for the same couple. The transfer of two unaffected embryos in the last cycle resulted in a twin pregnancy. A twin pregnancy was also achieved in one clinical ICSI-PGD cycle for OI type IV.
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