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Pharmacogenomics. 2010 Apr;11(4):573-85. doi: 10.2217/pgs.10.37.

Use of transcriptomics in understanding mechanisms of drug-induced toxicity.

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Environmental Stress & Cancer Group, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Mail Drop D2-03, PO Box 12233, 111 TW Alexander Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA.


Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) are an important clinical issue and a serious public health risk. Understanding the underlying mechanisms is critical for clinical diagnosis and management of different ADRs. Toxicogenomics can reveal impacts on biological pathways and processes that had not previously been considered to be involved in a drug response. Mechanistic hypotheses can be generated that can then be experimentally tested using the full arsenal of pharmacology, toxicology, molecular biology and genetics. Recent transcriptomic studies on drug-induced toxicity, which have provided valuable mechanistic insights into various ADRs, have been reviewed with a focus on nephrotoxicity and hepatotoxicity. Related issues have been discussed, including extrapolation of mechanistic findings from experimental model systems to humans using blood as a surrogate tissue for organ damage and comparative systems biology approaches.

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