Micronucleus assay – a biomarker of genotoxic damage in exfoliated oral mucosa cells

Vinicius Coelho CARRARD, Cynthia Hernandes COSTA, Luciana Adolfo FERREIRA, Isabel da Silva LAUXEN, Pantelis Varvaki RADOS


The aim of this study is to summarise the literature on micronucleus assay, explaining its meaning and its application in exfoliated oral mucosal cells. Micronuclei (MN) is an extra nuclei, originated from chromosome fragments or whole chromosomes that are not included in the main nuclei during mitosis. MNs arise from spontaneous genetic damage or are induced by genotoxic agents. MN analysis has been used as an important tool to biomonitore populations exposed to life-style agents. Studies demonstrate that tobacco and alcohol users, as well as occupationally exposed groups present increased number of MNs in exfoliated oral mucosa cells. Despite the fact that the role of MN frequency has not yet been fully understood, the MNs assay is considered to be an effective biomarker of oral squamous cell carcinoma risk factors effects


Micronucleus tests. DNA damage; Chromosome breakage; Cytology; Oral mucosa

DOI: https://doi.org/10.22456/2177-0018.7512

Licença Creative Commons

e-ISSN 2177-0018 / ISSN 0566-1854.

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