Peer-Reviewed Publications

      Automation of the in vitro micronucleus and chromosome aberration assay for the assessment of the genotoxicity of the particulate and gas-vapor phase of cigarette smoke

      Roemer, E.; Zenzen, V.; Conroy, L. L.; Luedemann, K.; Dempsey, R.; Schunck, C.; Trelles Sticken, E.
      May 19, 2015

      Total particulate matter (TPM) and the gas-vapor phase (GVP) of mainstream smoke from the Reference Cigarette 3R4F were assayed in the cytokinesis-block in vitro micronucleus (MN) assay and the in vitro chromosome aberration (CA) assay, both using V79-4 Chinese hamster lung fibroblasts exposed for up to 24 h. The Metafer image analysis platform was adapted resulting in a fully automated evaluation system of the MN assay for the detection, identification and reporting of cells with micronuclei together with the determination of the cytokinesis-block proliferation index (CBPI) to quantify the treatment-related cytotoxicity. In the CA assay, the same platform was used to identify, map and retrieve metaphases for a subsequent CA evaluation by a trained evaluator. In both the assays, TPM and GVP provoked a significant genotoxic effect: up to 6-fold more micronucleated target cells than in the negative control and up to 10-fold increases in aberrant metaphases. Data variability was lower in the automated version of the MN assay than in the non-automated. It can be estimated that two test substances that differ in their genotoxicity by approximately 30% can statistically be distinguished in the automated MN and CA assays. Time savings, based on man hours, due to the automation were approximately 70% in the MN and 25% in the CA assays. The turn-around time of the evaluation phase could be shortened by 35 and 50%, respectively. Although only cigarette smoke-derived test material has been applied, the technical improvements should be of value for other test substances.