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Environ Mol Mutagen. 1999;34(4):279-84.

Micronuclei assay and FISH analysis in human lymphocytes treated with six metal salts.

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Dipartimento di Scienze dell'Uomo e dell'Ambiente, Università di Pisa, Pisa, Italy.


The capability of some metal compounds for inducing micronuclei (MN) in human lymphocytes was studied. In this investigation, Al (III), Cd (II), Hg (II), Sb (V), Te (VI), and Tl (I) salts were considered. The FISH (fluorescence in situ hybridization) technique with a centromeric probe was coupled with the MN assay in binucleated cells in order to detect both centromere-positive MN (C+ MN) due to malsegregation phenomena and centromere-negative MN (C- MN) due to chromosome breakage. The blood of two young nonsmoking male donors was employed for all experiments. In both donors, all the tested metal compounds, with the exception of Tl(2)SO(4), showed a statistically significant increase of MN compared to controls, at least at one dose. FISH analysis revealed an increase in the fraction of C+ MN for Al, Cd, and Hg compounds, and of C- MN for the Sb salt; however, this was not a statistically significant increase. A different efficiency was observed for the different metal compounds, in particular, KSbO(3) and CH(3)HgCl, which were highly genotoxic, whereas the others showed minimal effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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