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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 194031, 11 pages
Review Article

Genotoxic Effect in Autoimmune Diseases Evaluated by the Micronucleus Test Assay: Our Experience and Literature Review

1Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara, 45129 Zapopan, JAL, Mexico
2CUCBA, Universidad de Guadalajara, 45221 Guadalajara, JAL, Mexico
3Unidad Académica de Medicina, Universidad Autónoma de Nayarit, 63155 Tepic, NAY, Mexico

Received 19 December 2014; Revised 17 March 2015; Accepted 8 April 2015

Academic Editor: Francesca Pacchierotti

Copyright © 2015 Olivia Torres-Bugarín et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Autoimmune diseases (AD) are classified into organ-specific, systemic, and mixed; all forms of AD share a high risk for cancer development. In AD a destructive immune response induced by autoreactive lymphocytes is started and continues with the production of autoantibodies against different targets; furthermore apoptosis failure and loss of balance in oxidative stress as a consequence of local or systemic inflammation are common features seen in AD as well. Micronucleus (MN) assay can be performed in order to evaluate loss of genetic material in a clear, accurate, fast, simple, and minimally invasive test. The MN formation in the cytoplasm of cells that have undergone proliferation is a consequence of DNA fragmentation during mitosis and the appearance of small additional nuclei during interphase. The MN test, widely accepted for in vitro and in vivo genotoxicity research, provides a sensitive marker of genomic damage associated to diverse conditions. In here, we present a review of our work and other published papers concerning genotoxic effect in AD, identified by means of the MN assay, with the aim of proposing this tool as a possible early biomarker for genotoxic damage, which is a consequence of disease progression. Additionally this biomarker could be used for follow-up, to asses genome damage associated to therapies.