Research Article

Genetic analysis of DNA from single human oocytes: a model for preimplantation diagnosis of cystic fibrosis.

BMJ 1989; 299 doi: (Published 01 July 1989) Cite this as: BMJ 1989;299:22
  1. C. Coutelle,
  2. C. Williams,
  3. A. Handyside,
  4. K. Hardy,
  5. R. Winston,
  6. R. Williamson
  1. Department of Human Molecular Genetics, Central Institute of Molecular Biology, German Democratic Republic.


    Gene sequences in human oocytes were studied to investigate the possibility of diagnosing inherited or sporadic genetic disease before implantation after in vitro fertilisation. By specific amplification the possibility of analysing the DNA from single human oocytes for a specific gene was shown, and genotypes for markers closely linked to cystic fibrosis and Duchenne muscular dystrophy were determined. Single oocytes were used to approximate the total amount of DNA present in a single cell taken for biopsy from a 4-16 cell blastocyst. With a new technique for specific DNA amplification, the polymerase chain reaction, these data can be obtained within several hours of cell isolation. Extreme care must be taken to avoid any contamination of the sample with DNA from other sources. With this technique genotyping for single gene disorders is feasible with an accuracy and on a time scale that would allow implantation of the zygote after in vitro fertilisation without freezing.