Utility Micronucleus Test and Nuclear Abnormalities in Exfoliated Cells of Oral Mucosa in the Evaluation of Genotoxic and Cytotoxic Damage

DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-95022013000200050
Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

Olivia Torres-Bugarín & María Luisa Ramos-Ibarra


Micronucleus are fragments or whole chromosomes that are outside the nucleus during mitosis. Through this study we can evaluate the environmental and occupational the genotoxic effects. This test is widely used because it is a very effective alternative, it is a simple, fast and inexpensive way to detect the loss of genetic material. Meanwhile a healthy oral cavity is evidenced because in the overlying mucosa changes indicative of local or systemic disease, toxic exposure and side effects of treatments can be observed. This favors their use in tests to assess the presence of genotoxins or cytotoxins. Although protective barrier from the rest of the body is the point of contact of potentially dangerous agents thus becoming susceptible to damage. Coating and oral epithelium (60%) are formed by stratified non-keratinized cells with abundant cytoplasm, allowing the absorption of dyes and facilitating microscopic observation and identification of nucleus and membrane morphological characteristics. It has a particularly proliferative capacity, and even though this particularity maintains constant cell population, on the other hand, becomes more vulnerable to DNA damage. This information is relevant as 90% of all cancers are of epithelial origin. Therefore, the oral mucosa is used to monitor early events caused by inhaled or ingested genotoxic carcinogens. Epithelium is easily accessible and minimally invasive, thereby generating less stress when samples are obtained from study participants. In view of the above, oral epithelium tissue is ideal for implementing micronucleus assay and for the detection of nuclear abnormalities without the need for cell cultures, which presents a unique opportunity for epidemiological studies in high-risk populations.

KEY WORDS: Micronucleus; Oral mucosa; Nuclear abnormalities; Genotoxic y citotoxic event.

How to cite this article

TORRES-BUGARÍN, O. & RAMOS-IBARRA, M. L. Utility micronucleus test and nuclear abnormalities in exfoliated cells of oral mucosa in the evaluation of genotoxic and cytotoxic damage. Int. J. Morphol., 31(2):650-657, 2013.