The HUman MicroNucleus Project--An international collaborative study on the use of the micronucleus technique for measuring DNA damage in humans

Mutat Res. 1999 Jul 16;428(1-2):271-83. doi: 10.1016/s1383-5742(99)00053-8.


The International Collaborative Project on Micronucleus Frequency in Human Populations (HUMN) was organized to collect data on micronucleus (MN) frequencies in different human populations and different cell types. The test procedures considered by this project are assays using human lymphocytes (cytokinesis-block method), exfoliated epithelial cells, and other cell types. Data (including descriptions of the populations monitored, detailed test protocols, and test results) are being obtained from a large number of laboratories throughout the world and are being entered into a unified database. The information will be used to: (1) determine the extent of variation of 'normal' values for different laboratories and the influence of other factors potentially affecting baseline MN frequency, e.g., age, gender and life-style; (2) provide information on the effect of experimental protocol variations on MN frequency measurements; (3) design and test optimal protocols for the different cell types; and (4) determine the extent to which MN frequency is a valid biomarker of ageing and risk for diseases such as cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Division
  • DNA Damage*
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods
  • Epithelial Cells / ultrastructure
  • Humans
  • International Cooperation
  • Lymphocytes / ultrastructure
  • Micronucleus Tests / methods*
  • Micronucleus Tests / statistics & numerical data
  • Mutagenicity Tests / methods
  • Neoplasms / etiology
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk Factors