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Expert Opin Drug Metab Toxicol. 2005 Dec;1(4):687-99.

Precision-cut organ slices to investigate target organ injury.

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  • 1Allergan, Inc., RD2-2A, 2525 DuPont Drive, Irvine CA 92623, USA.


Drug-induced organ injury is a multifaceted process, involving numerous cell types and mediators, and remains a significant safety issue in pharmaceutical development and clinical therapy. Organ slices, an in vitro model representing the multicellular, structural and functional features of in vivo tissue, is a promising model for elucidating mechanisms of drug-induced organ injury and for characterising species susceptibilities. Time- and concentration-dependent drug-induced effects on organ slice gene expression, function and morphology are providing insight into the molecular and biochemical pathways leading to organ dysfunction, an altered morphology and the induction of repair pathways. Human organ slice studies are valuable for bridging the extrapolation of animal-derived data and for identifying mechanisms relevant for humans. The liver is the major organ used in organ slice studies; however, the utility of extrahepatic-derived slices, as well as cocultures for investigating multiple organ involvement in tissue injury is increasing. Organ slice investigations can further our understanding of the cell types and cell interactions involved in drug-induced injury and the consequences of drug-induced off-target effects for identifying compound liabilities that will impact safety.

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