Date of Award

Spring 1986

Document Type



Life & Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

James Manion

Second Advisor

Jean Smith

Third Advisor

Guido Bugni


The effect of in vivo ethanol exposure on meiotic chromosome segregation and pairing was studied in the male Chinese hamster by cytogenetic analysis. Chinese hamsters received single 1.5ml doses of 12.5% or 25% ethanol by intragastric intubation. Meiotic preparations from testes were made at various times 3.5-24.0 hrs after intubation. Slides were subsequently scored for aneuploidy at spermatogonial metaphase and meiotic metaphase II (Mil), and univalent formation at meiotic metaphase I (Ml). The results indicate that alcohol did not induce aneuploidy in secondary spermatocytes, and univalence in primary spermatocytes was not significantly different from that found in controls. The effects on spermatogonia are inconclusive. A second set of male Chinese hamsters were used to test the effect of ethanol on spermatogenesis after prolonged exposure. These animals received daily doses of 1.5mls of 12.5% ethanol for 13 or 16 days. No aneuploidy was observed, as determined by the absence of hyperploid counts among the MI and Mil spreads scored. These results are contrary to recent studies in the mouse which have shown that alcohol can, apparently, induce aneuploidy during female and possibly male meiotic divisions, It is concluded that, at least for the male Chinese hamster, ethanol does not induce aneuploidy during spermatogenesis. Comparison of the findings in the mouse with those of the present study suggests that the principle of ethanol induc- tion of aneuploidy in laboratory rodents may not necessarily be applicable to man.