Determination of micronucleus frequency byacridine orange fluorescent staining in peripheralblood reticulocytes of mice treated topically withdifferent lubricant oils and cyclophosphamide

C.R. Oliveira-Martin, C.K. Grisolia
Published September 30, 2007
Genet. Mol. Res. 6 (3): 566-574 (2007)

About the authors
C.R. Oliveira-Martin, C.K. Grisolia

Corresponding author
C.K. Grisolia


To ascertain whether used and re-refined lubricant oil absorbed through the skin can produce a genotoxic effect or cytotoxicity in mouse bone marrow cells, we examined the induction of micronucleated erythrocytes of peripheral blood after cutaneous application. Both re-refined and used lubricant oils showed a weak but significant induction of micronucleated polychromatic erythrocytes compared with control, while virgin oil did not show micronucleus induction. Cyclophosphamide (CP) was used not only as positive control but also to compare the sensitivity between intraperitoneal and dermal routes of administration of the test compounds in mice. The efficacy of intraperitoneal injection of CP is well known. On the other hand, dermal exposure is not so common and when CP was diluted in glycerin statistically significant values (P = 0.0036) of micronuclei were also found. Topically applied lubricant oils (virgin, re-refined and used) have the capacity to interfere with mouse bone marrow hematopoiesis evidenced by a statistically significant decrease in the proportion of polychromatic erythrocytes in the peripheral blood. Physical and chemical analysis revealed that used oil is more viscous than other lubricants, suggesting the presence of insoluble compounds, oxidized products and water as well as aromatic hydrocarbons. Used oil differs from other lubricant oils in metal and polyaromatic hydrocarbon content. Re-refined oil revealed a neutral value typical of pure mineral oil. This assay is an important tool to evaluate environmental pollutants that cause genotoxicity and/or cytotoxicity through skin exposure.

Key words: Micronucleus, Cytotoxicity, Lubricant oils, Cyclophosphamide

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