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

Lucia Migliore, Leonardo Cocchi, Claudia Nesti, Enrico Sabbioni

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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 TI (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 TI2SO4, 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, KSbO3 and CH3HgCl, which were highly genotoxic, whereas the others showed minimal effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-284
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental and Molecular Mutagenesis
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Cytogenetic damage
  • FISH
  • Human lymphocytes
  • Metals (Al, Cd, Hg, Sb, Te, Tl)
  • Micronuclei

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Toxicology


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