Trisomy: Chromosome competition or maternal strategy?. Increase of trisomy incidence with increasing maternal age does not result from competition between chromosomes

Raymond J. Kloss, Randolph M. Nesse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Axelrod and Hamilton (Science 211:1390, 1981) suggested that trisomies may result from an end-game strategy between chromosomes competing to get on the gamete as the mother approaches menopause. We tested this hypothesis by reviewing studies of the parental origin of the extra chromosome in trisomy 21 births. These data show that there is no significant rise in trisomy 21 conceptions as the mother ages. The increase in trisomies with maternal age results not from an increase in nondisjunctions, but from a decrease in rejection of trisomy zygotes, which may be adaptive for the mother towards the end of her reproductive life. This decreasing rate of rejection may result from the changing inclusive benefits of two maternal strategies as menopause approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-287
Number of pages5
JournalEthology and Sociobiology
Volume13
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1992
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Chromosome abnormalities
  • Competition
  • Down Syndrome
  • Female
  • Game theory
  • Genetic
  • Human
  • Maternal age
  • Meiosis
  • Nondisjunction
  • Prisoner's Dilemma
  • Sociobiology, Trisomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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