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Alternatives to Laboratory Animals - ATLA

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Barriers, Nephrotoxicology and Chronic Testing In Vitro

Pilar Prieto

In many organs of the human body, there are effective physiological barriers which contribute to regulation of the uptake, transport and secretion of endogenous and exogenous materials. ECVAM is involved in the development of several in vitro models for detecting damage to various barriers, including, the renal epithelium, the intestinal barrier, and the blood–brain barrier, after acute and chronic exposure to chemicals and products of various kinds. Long-term toxicity testing is an important issue in toxicology. At present, there are no generally accepted in vitro models available for replacing chronic testing in animals. Under chronic exposure conditions, the cellular response is greater than that which can be predicted in the standard cytotoxicity models. Therefore, the approach to predicting chronic toxicity will need to involve more-complex in vitro models. Several currently available in vitro long-term toxicity systems are under evaluation.