CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Indian J Med Paediatr Oncol 2015; 36(04): 212-218
DOI: 10.4103/0971-5851.171541

Emergence of micronuclei as a genomic biomarker

Robin Sabharwal
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Bhojia Dental College and Hospital, Baddi, Himachal Pradesh, India
Parul Verma
Department of Endodontics, Himachal Dental College, Sundernagar, Himachal Pradesh, India
Mohammed Asif Syed
Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Darshan Dental College & Hospital, Udaipur, India
Tamanna Sharma
Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, Himachal Dental College, Sundernagar, Himachal Pradesh, India
Santosh Kumar Subudhi
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Institute of Dental Sciences, Bhubneshwar, India
Saumyakanta Mohanty
Department of Endodontics, IDS, Uttar Pradesh, India
Shivangi Gupta
Department of Periodontics, DJ College of Dental Sciences and Research, Uttar Pradesh, India
› Author Affiliations


The presence of micronuclei (MN) in mammalian cells is related to several mutagenetic stresses. MN are formed as a result of chromosome damage and can be readily identified in exfoliated epithelial cells. MN is chromatin particles derived from acentric chromosomal fragments, which are not incorporated into the daughter nucleus after mitosis. It can be visualized by chromatin stains. A variety of factors influences the formation of MN in cells such as age, sex, genetic constitution, physical and chemical agents, adverse habits such as tobacco, areca nut chewing, smoking, and alcohol consumption. Micronucleation has important implications in the genomic plasticity of tumor cells. The present paper reviews the origin, fate and scoring criteria of MN that serves as a biomarker of exposure to genetic toxins, and for the risk of cancer.

Publication History

Publication Date:
12 July 2021 (online)

© 2015. Indian Society of Medical and Paediatric Oncology. This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonDerivative-NonCommercial-License, permitting copying and reproduction so long as the original work is given appropriate credit. Contents may not be used for commercial purposes, or adapted, remixed, transformed or built upon. (

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