Cytokinesis-block micronucleus method in human lymphocytes: effect of in vivo ageing and low dose X-irradiation

Michael Fenech, Alexander A. Morley

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    479 Citations (Scopus)


    The cytokinesis-block micronucleus technique was developed to overcome the kinetic problems inherent in the use of human lymphocytes for micronucleus assays. Using this technique the number of spontaneous micronuclei in lymphocytes from 42 individuals aged between 20 and 85 years was studied and was found to increase at a rate of 4.3% per year. Comparison with the results obtained with the conventional micronucleus assay confirmed that the conventional method markedly underestimates this age effect. The sensitivity of the cytokinesis-block method was determined by studying the effect of low-dose (< 50 rad) X-irradiation. The results indicated that the dose-response was linear and a single in vitro exposure to 5 rad of X-rays could be unequivocally detected. We concluded that the cytokinesis-block micronucleus method is more sensitive and precise than the conventional micronucleus method and classical metaphase analysis, and that it will be of value for detecting chromosome damage induced in vivo by genotoxic agents.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)193-198
    Number of pages6
    JournalMutation Research - Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 1986


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