Validity of the Lymphocyte Cytokinesis-Block Micronucleus Assay (L-CBMN) as biomarker for human exposure to chemicals with different modes of action: A synthesis of systematic reviews

Micheline Kirsch-Volders, Michael Fenech, Claudia Bolognesi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Recently fourteen systematic reviews applying the same selection and evaluation criteria analyzed the induction of micronuclei in lymphocytes as biomarker for DNA damage induced by human exposure to a given chemical or chemical mixture. The results obtained in the individual reviews were summarized to evaluate the validity of the Cytokinesis-Block-Micronucleus assay in lymphocytes (L-CBMN) and propose recommendations for its use in occupational and environmental exposure studies. All systematic reviews found consistent increases of MN frequencies in exposed subjects versus controls in all genotoxic compounds or group of chemicals investigated, in the following decreasing order: As/Cr/Ni, vinyl chloride, formaldehyde, Hg/Pb/Cd, “miscellaneous” pesticides, cytostatics/antineoplastics, anaesthetic gasses, dust/asbestos/other fibers, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, ethylene oxide, butadiene, styrene and petroleum/derivatives. Two reviews compared the results with the recommended exposure limits. For styrene, MN was found not to be induced under the recommended threshold limit. For vinyl chloride the safe exposure limit based on the L-CBMN data is lower than the current one. The L-CBMN thus appears to be a valid biomarker to assess DNA damage in populations exposed to genotoxic chemicals. Many shortcomings have been reported in assessment of confounding factors, such as lifestyle patterns, in particular diet and the major one the exposure assessment. All these factors together with methodological variables may contribute to the large variability in MN frequencies, also in controls. Information on frequency and origin of MN in more than one tissue (e.g. lymphocytes and buccal cells) in parallel, may provide better understanding of the mechanisms involved. Use of automated MN scoring systems to increase numbers of cells scored and facilitate screening more individuals would increase data reliability and provide information on the link between mutagenicity and carcinogenicity, if the studies are done prospectively. Efforts should be made to unravel the genotoxic effects induced when chronic and/or mixed exposures are involved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-52
Number of pages6
JournalMutation Research - Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis
Volume836
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2018

Keywords

  • Biomonitoring
  • Genotoxicity
  • Lymphocyte Cytokinesis-Block Micronucleus
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Validity of the Lymphocyte Cytokinesis-Block Micronucleus Assay (L-CBMN) as biomarker for human exposure to chemicals with different modes of action: A synthesis of systematic reviews'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this