Micronucleus, Nucleoplasmic Bridge, and Nuclear Budding in Peripheral Blood Cells of Workers Exposed to Low Level Benzene

I Jamebozorgi, F Mahjoubi, G Pouryaghoub, R Mehrdad, T Majidzadeh, Z Saltanatpour, F Nasiri


Background: Benzene is one of the important occupational pollutants. There are some reports about the leukemogenic effects related to low-level exposure to benzene.

Objective: To study the frequency of micronucleus (MN), nucleoplasmic bridge (NB), and nuclear budding (NBUD) in the peripheral blood lymphocytes of petrochemical workers with low level exposure to benzene.

Methods: We enrolled 50 workers exposed to low-level benzene and 31 unexposed workers of a petrochemical industry. After exclusion of 3 samples, peripheral blood lymphocytes of the remaining 47 exposed and 31 unexposed workers were analyzed for the frequency of MN, NB, and NBUD by cytochalasin-blocked MN technique.

Results: MN was present in 28 (60%) exposed and 18 (58%) unexposed workers. NB was observed in 6 (13%), and 2 (7%) exposed and unexposed workers, respectively; the frequency for NBUD was 20 (43%), and 13 (42%), respectively. No significant difference was found in the observed frequencies of MN, NB, and NBUD in the peripheral blood lymphocytes between the exposed and unexposed group workers.

Conclusion: Occupational exposure to low-level benzene does not increase the frequency of MN, NB, and NBUD in the peripheral blood lymphocytes, biomarkers for DNA damage.


Benzene; Neoplasms; Leukemia; Cell nucleus; Cytoplasm; DNA damage

doi: 10.15171/ijoem.2016.785

 pISSN: 2008-6520
 eISSN: 2008-6814

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