Background: Micronuclei are chromatin masses that arise from chromosomal fragments or whole chromosome that lack behind at the anaphase stage of cell division. Their presence in cells means the number of chromosomal aberrations arising during mitosis. Cigarette smoke contains over 4000 chemical carcinogens, with 200 known carcinogens that show significant genotoxic effects in human cells. Chronic high levels of glucose during Diabetes Mellitus are thought to increase oxidative stress and the formation of free radicals that in turn damage cells. Reactive oxygen species chemically attack cellular components altering metabolism, inflammatory mediators, and antioxidant defense mechanisms, overall favoring the pathogenesis of the disease and the persistence of genetic damage. Scoring of micronuclei is considered a DNA damage biomarker for chromosomal damage and instability.
Aim: Considering this, we decided to evaluate & compare the frequency of micronuclei in oral epithelial cells in smokers & in diabetics.
Materials & Methods: A total number of eligible 150 individuals were included in the study; 50 smokers without diabetes, 50 smokers with diabetes & 50 age and sex matched non smoker healthy individuals group as controls. Oral epithelial cells were taken from buccal smears and subjected to PAP stain. Mean micronuclei were taken from all the subjects.
Results: Least number of micronuclei was found in non smoker, non diabetic group & highest numbers were found in smoker, Diabetic group.
Conclusion: Micronuclei assay is non-invasive technique that offers a very simple method for obtaining information on status of the epithelial cells, particularly DNA damage, proliferative potential of basal cells and cell death.