Micronucleus evaluation of exfoliated buccal epithelial cells from automobile spray painters – A preliminary study

  • Nkiruka Chinonyelum Azubuike
  • Okechukwu Steven Onwukwe
  • Anulika Obianuju Onyemelukwe
  • Uzoamaka Charity Maduakor
  • Iniekong Philip Udoh
  • Ikenna T. Ikele
  • Cornelius O. Ogu
  • Valentine Chinwendu Okafor
Keywords: Micronuclei frequency, Exfoliated buccal cells, Smoking, Alcohol consumption, Spray Painters, Genotoxicity,


Automobile spray painters in the Mechanic village at Coal Camp, Enugu State, Nigeria are exposed to genotoxic agents such as the automobile paints and spent engine lubricants which contaminate the soil of their working environment. The present study applied the micronucleus (MN) test on exfoliated oral mucosal cells as a means to assess the genotoxicity risk associated with occupational exposure to genotoxic agents. Two (2) groups of subjects which comprised 30 automobile spray painters and a control group of 30 apparently healthy unexposed volunteers were enrolled in the study. The study participants were all males. Moistened wooden spatulas were used to obtain buccal smears of the participating individuals, and the smears were stained. The presence of MN was assessed under light  microscopy and a total of 1000 cells per individual were scored. The results obtained showed that statistically significant increase in MN frequency in buccal epithelial cells of automobile spray painters when compared with the control group (p<0.05). Elevated MN frequency was also observed with
increased age, smoking and alcohol consumption habits. MN frequency was significantly affected by the duration of working experience (years) of the spray painters whereas no difference was observed with number of working
hours/day. In conclusion, the present study has revealed that automobile spray painters in the Mechanic village of Coal Camp, Enugu State could be under risk of cytogenetic damage from exposure to genotoxic chemicals.

Key words: Micronuclei frequency; Exfoliated buccal cells; Smoking;  Alcohol consumption, Spray Painters; Genotoxicity;


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2305-9478
print ISSN: 2226-6054