1022-7954/02/3802- $27.00 © 2002
Russian Journal of Genetics, Vol. 38, No. 2, 2002, pp. 201–204. Translated from Genetika, Vol. 38, No. 2, 2002, pp. 264–267.
Original Russian Text Copyright © 2002 by Milosevic-Djordjevic, Grujicic, Novakovic, Arsenijevic, Marinkovic.
It has been long known that ageing is a group of
degenerative changes that generate in time function .
Scientiﬁc data contain many papers that follow age-
ing phenomenon in human population as cause of vari-
ability of different cytogenetic parameters: chromo-
somal aberrations, sister chromatid exchanges (SCEs)
and micronuclei (MNs) as basic biomarkers of expo-
sure to environmental mutagens and carcinogens. An
increased proportion of aneuploid cells with advancing
age has been reported by many authors [2, 3].
The accumulation of DNA damage, however, could
be considered the central event involved in the process
of cellular ageing. During the ageing process the pro-
gressive impairment of metabolic enzymes, as well as
DNA repair enzymes occur, which increases predispo-
sition, i.e., susceptibility of cell or organism to exoge-
nous and/or endogenous genotoxic agents [4, 5, 6]. All
of these contribute to age-related increase of frequen-
cies of spontaneous DNA damage in a population of
peripheral blood lymphocytes and association of the
ageing process with DNA repair efﬁciency [7, 8, 9].
Starting with 1985, the cytokinesis-block micronu-
cleus (CBMN) assay in human peripheral blood lym-
phocytes has been accepted by many laboratories all
over the world as a choice method for assessing chro-
mosome damage [10, 11].
The aim of biomonitoring studies is detection of
agents with genotoxic potentials, presented in occupa-
tional and living environment, and in this way elimina-
tion of cancer risk and damage of genetic material. The
basal values for selected cytogenic parameters are neces-
sary for adequate estimation of cytogenetic damage of
population that is exposed to genotoxicants. Because of
that, the aim of our study was evaluation of the level of
spontaneous MN frequency in peripheral blood lympho-
cytes, in the analyzed sample of Yugoslavian population.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
In order to assess the effect of age of tested individ-
uals on spontaneous micronucleus frequency in periph-
eral blood lymphocytes, the analysis has been done by
CB micronucleus test of 164 healthy individuals, dur-
ing period from 1997 to 2000, in Cytogenetic labora-
tory of Clinic of Gynecology, Clinical Hospital Center
in Kragujevac. The analyzed sample was divided in ﬁve
groups depending on the age of tested individuals (from
0 to 62 years).
The ﬁrst group analyzed consisted of 29 newborns;
the second consisted of 32 persons of 18–24 years of
age while the third group included 38 persons of age
25–29 years. In the fourth group that consisted of
31 person, age range was 30–39 years, and the ﬁfth
group consisted of 34 persons aged 40–62.
CB MN test was used according to Fenech and Mor-
ley  with modiﬁcations.
The cultures of peripheral blood lymphocytes were
set up according to the modiﬁed method of Edwards
 and Frland . Cell cultures were incubated at
Micronuclei and Ageing
in a Sample of Yugoslavian Population
, D. Grujicic
, T. Novakovic
, and D. Marinkovic
Department of Genetics, University of Kragujevac, Kragujevac 340000, Serbia, Yugoslavia;
fax: 381-34-335-040; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Clinic of Gynecology, Kragujevac 340000, Serbia, Yugoslavia
University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia, Yugoslavia
Received December 26, 2000
—Objective: instability in the organization and expression of the genetic material has been hypothe-
sized as the basic mechanism of ageing. Aim of this study was to quantify the effect of ageing on spontaneous
micronuclei (MN) frequency in peripheral blood lymphocytes. Method: analysis of Yugoslavian population
sample (164 tested individuals, age 0–62 years) has performed by application of cytokinesis-block technique
(CB). Results: there was an increase of MN frequency with age, from newborns to 40-year-old persons. The
total average of MN frequency per 1000 analyzed binuclear cells amounts to 8.03
0.42, with variation from
0 to 26 MNs. In a sample of 29 newborns the recorded average MN frequency was 6.91
0.81, while among
69 persons 25–39 years old, the MN frequency was 9.16
1.00. The lowest average MN frequency, however, was
noted in the sample of 34 tested individuals 40 to 62 years of age. Conclusion: an increase with age in MN fre-
quency has been observed in samples of studied individuals from newborns to 40-year-old persons. A decrease of
MN frequency in older groups could be explained by a gradual decrease of proliferative cell capacities.