OECD 474: Erythrocyte micronucleus test (in vivo mammalian)
The mammalian in vivo micronucleus test is used for the detection of damage induced by test chemicals to the chromosomes or the mitotic apparatus of erythroblasts.
The purpose of the micronucleus test is to identify substances that cause cytogenetic damage which results in the formation of micronuclei containing either lagging chromosome fragments or whole chromosomes. When a bone marrow erythroblast develops into an immature erythrocyte (also known as a polychromatic erythrocyte), the main nucleus is extruded; any micronucleus that has been formed may remain behind in the cytoplasm. An increase in the frequency of micronucleated immature erythrocytes in treated animals is an indication of induced structural or numerical chromosomal aberrations.