Mutat Res, 726(1), 36–41
November, 2011

A rapid, semi-automated method for scoring micronuclei in mononucleatedmouse lymphoma cells.

Ann T Doherty, Julie Hayes, Mick Fellows, Sarah Kirk, Mike O'Donovan

A semi-automated scoring system has been developed to provide rapid, accurate assessment of micronuclei in preparations of mononuclear mouse lymphoma L5178Y cells. Following exposure to a range of test agents, flat, single-cell preparations were produced from exponentially growing cultures by cytocentrifugation. Following staining with 4'-6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI), cells were scanned by use of the MicroNuc module of Metafer 4 v 3.4.102, after modifying the classifier developed for selecting micronuclei in binucleate cells to increase its sensitivity. The image gallery of all cells was then sorted to bring aberrant cells to the top of the gallery to assess visually the numbers of cells with micronuclei, as distinct from other debris. Slide quality was shown to be paramount in obtaining accurate results from an automated scan and the data obtained compared very well with the incidence of micronuclei scored conventionally by microscopy. Compared with manual scoring the time saving is considerable, as more than 2000 images are captured in approximately 2min, with subsequent visual assessment of aberrant cells in the image gallery taking about 1-2min/slide. By scanning all aberrant cells, the system also captures additional information on necrotic, apoptotic and fragmented cells. Although optimised for mouse lymphoma cells, it should be simple to adapt the method for any cell type growing in suspension.

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