• AlCl3;
  • Vicia faba;
  • micronuclei;
  • chromosome aberration;
  • cell cycle dysfunction


Aluminum (Al) exists naturally in air, water, and soil, and also in our diet. Al can be absorbed into the human body and accumulates in different tissues, which has been linked to the occurrence of Alzheimer's disease and various neurological disorders. By using Vicia cytogenetic tests, which are commonly used to monitor the genotoxicity of environmental pollutants, cytogenetic effects of aluminum (AlCl3) were investigated in this study. Present results showed that Al caused significant increases in the frequencies of micronuclei (MN) and anaphase chromosome aberrations in Vicia faba root tips exposed to Al over a concentration-tested range of 0.01–10 mM for 12 h. The frequency of micronucleated cells was higher in Al-treated groups at pH 4.5 than that at pH 5.8. Similarly, AlCl3 treatment caused a decrease in the number of mitotic cells in a dose- and pH-dependent manner. The number of cells in each mitotic phase changed in Al-treated samples. Mitotic indices (MI) decreased with the increases of pycnotic cells. Our results demonstrate that aluminum chloride is a clear clastogenic/genotoxic and cytotoxic agent in Vicia root cells. The V. faba cytogenetic test could be used for the genotoxicity monitoring of aluminum water contamination. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Environ Toxicol, 2010.