New approaches to estimating the mutagenic potential of chemicals
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New developments in mutagenic risk assessment have appeared in the past few years. New methods have been developed such asin vitro micronucleus assay for chromosomal alterations, comet assay for primary DNA damage, use of transgenic animals to detectin vivo gene mutations, and fluorescent in situ hybridization method to detect aneuploidy. Other new methods will be developed in the few next years, including the use of DNA chips and the use of molecular biological methods. Several micromethods have been developed to test a great number of chemical compounds. New concepts have appeared concerning interpretation of data, and particularly of thresholds especially in the case of aneugens; in some cases metabolic or mechanistic thresholds were demonstrated. Genotoxic studies are best integrated into toxicological testing: for example, some genotoxicity tests can be integrated into subacute toxicology; interpretation of data includes metabolism; and toxicokinetic data relate to other toxicological studies. Conversely, genotoxicity data can be used to interpret toxicology studies.
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