Cytogenetic analysis of Greek farmers using the micronucleus assay in peripheral lymphocytes and buccal cells

Susana Pastor, Sara Gutiérrez, Amadeu Creus, Noel Xamena, Stylianos Piperakis, Ricard Marcos

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74 Citations (Scopus)


The potential cytogenetic damage associated with pesticide use in Greek agricultural workers was evaluated using micronuclei (MN) as biomarkers in lymphocytes of peripheral blood and exfoliated cells of the buccal mucosa. In addition, the effects of pesticide exposure and other variables on the cytokinesis block proliferation index (CBPI) in lymphocytes were also evaluated. Both the exposed and control individuals were selected from Nea Makri, a village near Athens (Greece). This location was selected for its high greenhouse density. Micronuclei were analysed in 50 agricultural workers exposed to pesticides (30 men and 20 women) and in 66 non-exposed individuals that constituted the control group (41 men and 25 women). The comparison between workers and controls did not reveal any statistical significant difference in the MN frequency for either lymphocytes or buccal cells. Nevertheless, the multiple regression analysis revealed that the age and the interaction between gender and the number of X-ray examinations during the last 3 years preceding the sampling increased the number of MN in lymphocytes. Moreover, the results of the negative binomial regression analysis suggested that the level of MN in buccal cells could be reduced by the intake of fish, whilst being increased by olive oil consumption. Regarding CBPI, the value found in the exposed group was lower than in controls, the difference being statistically significant. On the other hand, CBPI was inversely associated with both age and X-ray exposure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)539-545
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2001


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