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Mutat Res. 1991 Feb;259(2):189-95.

Increased frequency of micronuclei in B and T8 lymphocytes from smokers.

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Department of Medical Genetics, University of Helsinki, Finland.


The frequency of micronuclei was measured in peripheral B lymphocytes and some T lymphocyte subpopulations from 5 medium-tar cigarette smokers, and 5 non-smokers with no regular exposure to tobacco smoke. The peripheral lymphocytes were stimulated in vitro with phytohemagglutinin and B lymphocytes and the various T lymphocyte subsets were classified by a recently developed MAC (Morphology, Antibody, Chromosomes) method which allows the immunologic identification of different cell lineages. An increased frequency of micronuclei was observed in B and especially in the suppressor/cytotoxic T8 lymphocytes from smokers, as compared with non-smoker values. In non-smoker cultures, no differences in the frequency of micronuclei were observed among the different T lymphocyte subsets. In these cultures, B cells tended to have a higher frequency of micronuclei than did T cells. The proportions of B cells and the various T subpopulations among mitotic and interphasic lymphocytes from smokers and non-smokers were also determined. The proportions of B cells and T cell subsets among all mitotic lymphocytes were similar in smokers and non-smokers. Contrarily, a significant decrease in the proportion of T8 lymphocytes among all interphasic lymphocytes was observed in cultures derived from smokers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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