Asian Journal of Microbiology, Biotechnology & Environmental Sciences Paper

Vol 8, Issue 3, 2006; Page No.(657-659)

MICRONUCLEI - IS IT AN INDICATOR OF GENOTOXICITY AND CYTOTOXICITY ? - RELEVANCE OF INCLUDING THIS ASSAY IN MUTAGENICITY CARCINOGENICITY ASSESSMENT

P.K. SURESH, K.A. SAJEETHA BEGAM AND R. ASHOK KUMAR

Abstract

Micronuclei are oval to round bodies, found within the cytoplasm, but outside the main nucleus. They could be formed either as a result of direct genotoxic insult (primary genotoxicity) or could be secondary to cytotoxicity-induced DNA damage. Hence, at non-cytotoxic doses, their levels may be an indicator of genotoxic potential (biomarker) of a chemical carcinogen and hence, could be used as a preliminary assay for their toxicological assessment. Furthermore, this could also be an indicator that other submicroscopic changes may have occurred. However, the scoring criteria should be consistently followed to minimize scorer bias. This genotoxicity assay, when correlated with other assays like measuring DNA adduct levels, would be useful to potentially identify the limits of sensitivity for this assay as well as its specificity, so that the same could be used to screen workers, for genotoxicity, in the occupational setting, to identify individuals at an increased risk.

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