Genetic Toxicology of Airborne Particulate Matter Using Cytogenetic Assays and Microbial Mutagenicity Assays

  • Roberto Barale
  • Lucia Migliore
  • Bettina Cellini
  • Lucia Francioni
  • Francesco Giorgelli
  • Italo Barrai
  • Nicola Loprieno
Part of the Environmental Science Research book series (ESRH, volume 39)


The mutagenicity of airborne particulate matter was assayed using four different tests, namely, the Ames Salmonella test, sister chromatid exchanges (SCEs), chromosomal aberrations (CAs), and the micronucleus (MN) test in human lymphocytes. Two types of extracts were used for all the tests. The first was a sample obtained from urban air in winter which showed high mutagenic activity. The second was a summer sample, again from urban air, which showed very low activity. The particulate matter was assayed as a whole organic extract, and in the form of different fractions. In the first sample, we observed that SCE and CA tests were more sensitive than the Ames test. Since both tests in eukaryotic cells are time-consuming and expensive, we tried to assess the value of the MN test with a second sample showing low activity. Again, the three cytogenetic tests were more sensitive than the test on Salmonella, and in particular the MN test seems to be a useful test in conjunction with the Ames test. As a first screening, it could substitute for the other two tests.


Chromosomal Aberration Human Lymphocyte Organic Extract Acid Fraction Airborne Particle 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roberto Barale
    • 1
  • Lucia Migliore
    • 2
  • Bettina Cellini
    • 2
  • Lucia Francioni
    • 2
  • Francesco Giorgelli
    • 2
  • Italo Barrai
    • 1
  • Nicola Loprieno
    • 2
  1. 1.Istituto di ZoologiaUniversità di FerraraFerraraItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento de Scienze dell’Ambiente e del TerritorioUniversità di PisaPisaItaly

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