Towards an Automated Micronucleus Assay as an Internal Dosimeter for Carcinogen-Exposed Human Population Groups
Predictions concerning human responses to carcinogen exposures depend to a large extent on the extrapolation of results obtained from tissue cultures or animal models. Because of differences in the pharmacology of carcinogens in different species, such extrapolations are of restricted value. Furthermore, there is a tendency to compare the effects of high carcinogen doses such as are used in experiments with cultured cells and rodents, with the actions of low doses to which humans are usually exposed. These difficulties can be overcome by using markers which are applicable to cultured cells, animal models and human subjects. We have previously shown that micronuclei are suitable internal dosimeters for revealing tissue-specific genotoxic damage in individuals exposed to carcinogenic mixtures (Stich et al. 1982a, b; Stich 1987; Stich and Rosin 1983, 1985) and for following the response to chemopreventive agents in short-term intervention trials (Stich 1986a, b, 1987; Stich et al. 1984, 1988). In this paper, we place particular emphasis on the automated scoring of micronuclei, which would make this test applicable to large-scale studies of human population groups.
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