Eggs and sperm develop through a specialized cell division called meiosis. During meiosis, the number of chromosomes is reduced by two sequential divisions in preparation for fertilization. In human female meiosis, chromosomes frequently segregate incorrectly, resulting in eggswith an abnormal number of chromosomes. When fertilized, these eggs give rise to aneuploid embryos that usually fail to develop. As women become older, errors in meiosis occur more frequently, resulting in increased risks of infertility, miscarriage, and congenital syndromes, such as Down’s syndrome. Here, we review recent studies that identify the mechanisms causing aneuploidy in female meiosis, with a particular emphasis on studies in humans.
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