Factors that influence formation of sister chromatid exchanges in human blood lymphocytes

Das, B. C. ; Natarajan, A. T. (1988) Factors that influence formation of sister chromatid exchanges in human blood lymphocytes Critical Reviews in Toxicology, 19 (1). pp. 43-86. ISSN 1040-8444

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Official URL: http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/10408...

Related URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/10408448809040817


Sister chromatid exchange (SCE) reflects an interchange of DNA sequences between helices in a replicating chromosome. This was initially accomplished by Taylor and colleagues (1957) using tritiated thymidine incorporation followed by autoradiography. The development of an elegant technique for differential staining of sister chromatids by incorporating a thymidine analog, 5-bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) has greatly simplified the detection of SCEs in metaphase chromosomes. In recent years, the analysis of SCE has been considered to be a highly sensitive and additional (i.e., with chromosome aberrations) end point for measuring mutagenic/carcinogenic potential of various environmental agents and is increasingly being used to detect and differentiate among chromosome fragility human diseases that predispose to neoplasia. Attention has been focused to see if the induction of SCEs in lymphocyte cultures can be used as a reliable "biological dosimeter" for genetic risk assessment and to monitor the exposed populations. Several physical or preparatory as well as biological factors that modify the response and formation of SCEs make the monitoring difficult. The purpose of this article is to review and analyze these factors to facilitate an effective development of a standard protocol for SCE testing and for appropriate evaluation of test results. This may also provide clues to understand the yet unknown molecular mechanism(s) and biological significance of SCE formation.

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