Buccal epithelial micronucleus assay - A predictor of DNA damage in smokers with respiratory illness and carcinoma

Kantharaj, Anne D'Souza, Antony Sylvan D'Souza, L. C. Prasanna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Introduction and Aim: Micronucleus (MN) is a chromatin mass formed by the chromosomal breakage or segregation that can be detected in exfoliated buccal epithelial cells. This damage is directly proportional to the frequency and duration of exposure to various genotoxins. The present study aimed at evaluating the impact of cigarette smoking on cytogenetic damage through the MN assay. Materials and Methods: Four groups were included for examination. Each group comprising of 25 subjects each for nonsmokers, smokers with respect to duration and frequency of smoking, smokers with respiratory illness and smokers with oral and lung cancers. Under aseptic precautions, buccal epithelial cells were scrapped, centrifuged and stained by using Giemsa solution. Cells were analyzed for the presence/absence and the number of MN in each slide. Results: Increase in the presence of micronuclei is seen in smokers with cancerous lesions and underlying respiratory illness than in non-smokers. Conclusion: The presence of micronuclei in buccal cells may be used as a caution to smokers for the associated increased risk for cancers of oral and lung and respiratory illness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-83
Number of pages5
JournalBiomedicine (India)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01-01-2017


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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