An increase in the use of nanomaterials (NM) has been witnessed in many areas of human life. Therefore, assessment of genotoxicity of NM and nanoparticles (NP) is one of the main objectives of genetic toxicology. Despite this fact, human cytogenetic studies following the exposure to NP are still rare. Moreover, no relevant information on possible differences in sensitivity to NP related to gender is available.In this study we periodically (in September 2016, 2017 and 2018; pre-shift and post-shift each year) analyzed a group of workers (both genders), working long time in nanocomposites research, and matched controls. Aerosol exposure monitoring of particulate matter including nano-sized fractions was carried out during working shift. Micronucleus assay using Human Pan Centromeric probes, was applied to distinguish, besides the frequency of total MN in binucleated cells (BNC), also other types of chromosomal damage (losses and breaks). Moreover, whole-chromosome painting (WCP) for autosome #1 and both gonosomes (X and Y) were applied in third sampling period (2018) with the aim to identify the particular structural and numerical chromosomal aberrations.Obtained results showed: (i) differences in the risk of exposure to NP related to individual working processes (welding, smelting and machining); (ii) differences in chemical composition of nano-fraction; (iii) no effect of chronic exposure of NP (total MN) opposite to significant effect of acute exposure; (iv) gender-related DNA damage differences (females seem to be more sensitive to chromosomal losses). Additional data from WCP suggested increased frequency of numerical aberrations in gonosomes.Keywords: DNA damage, gender, chromosomal aberrations, micronuclei, nanoparticles, occupational exposure
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