The mammalian in vivo chromosome aberration test is used for the detection of structural chromosome aberrations induced by test compounds in bone marrow cells of animals, usually rodents (rats, mice and Chinese hamsters). Structural chromosome aberrations may be of two types: chromosome or chromatid.
Animals are exposed to the test substance (liquid or solid) by an appropriate route of exposure (usually by gavage using a stomach tube or a suitable intubation cannula, or by intraperitoneal injection) and are sacrificed at appropriate times after treatment. Prior to sacrifice, animals are treated with a metaphase-arresting agent. Chromosome preparations are then made from the bone marrow cells and stained, and metaphase cells are analysed for chromosome aberrations. Each treated and control group must include at least 5 analysable animals per sex. The limit dose is 2000 mg/kg/body weight/day for treatment up to 14 days, and 1000 mg/kg/body weight/day for treatment longer than 14 days.