Human cell lines in pharmacotoxicology. An introduction to a panel discussion

Cell Biol Toxicol. 1995 Aug;11(3-4):179-85. doi: 10.1007/BF00756521.


Various types of cells lines are used in pharmacotoxicology. Established cell lines are easily available, with few ethical restrictions. Some specific properties are preserved, although they have kept the phenotype of the original tissue, which is frequently a tumor phenotype. They are usually more resistant to toxic compounds than freshly isolated cells. Some drug-metabolizing enzymes are expressed and regulated in these cells. Immortalized cell lines are also of interest in toxicology. They are mainly examined for their potential in mutagenicity testing. These cells and numerous others of animal or human origin can be transfected with cDNA coding for human enzymes. They are used for determination of the individual enzyme involved in a particular metabolic pathway, or, when multiple transfections are successfully achieved, for mutagenicity testing. Regulation studies are also possible in such cells after transfection of DNA elements regulating gene transcription.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line / drug effects*
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical / methods*
  • Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor / methods*
  • Humans
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured