Genotoxicology investigates the molecular basis of cellular responses to DNA damage. During more than three decades of genetic toxicology testing, a large number of tests with varying sensitivity and specificity have been developed.
These genotoxicity tests can predict:
the likelihood of a substance to be a (rodent) carcinogen,
the mechanism of carcinogenic activity of different substances,
if the results of genotoxicity studies only predict carcinogenicity or they are a distinct hazard endpoint (Nohynek, 2005).
The current genetic toxicity testing batteries represent:
Ames test which is a component of all genetic testing batteries.
A mammalian cell mutagenicity assay which should confirm or complete the Ames test.
Chromosomal aberrations tests which are based on a different endpoint than gene mutations.