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Mutagenesis. 2011 Jan;26(1):43-9. doi: 10.1093/mutage/geq050.

The effect of age, gender, diet and lifestyle on DNA damage measured using micronucleus frequency in human peripheral blood lymphocytes.

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Department of Nutritional Genomics and DNA Damage Diagnostics, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation Food and Nutritional Sciences, Gate 13 Kintore Avenue, PO Box 10041, Adelaide BC, South Australia 5000, Australia.


Micronucleus (MN) frequency in cytokinesis-blocked peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) has become one of the best-established biomarkers for studying DNA damage occurring in vivo in humans. The application of this method in population biomonitoring studies requires a deep understanding of how lifestyle and common host variables may influence MN frequency in PBL. In this mini-review, an update is provided on results from studies reporting on the impact of age, gender, diet and lifestyle factors (e.g. exercise, alcohol, smoking and recreational drugs) on this biomarker. Evidence from these studies shows that each of these factors, either in isolation or in combination, can significantly influence MN frequency. Proper control for these factors is required to enable better measurement of the impact of other conditions, such as environmental exposure to genotoxins or a susceptible genetic background, on MN frequency in PBL.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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