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Cell-based in vitro models in environmental toxicology: a review

Michael Poteser
  • Department of Environmental Hygiene and Environmental Medicine, Center for Public Health, Medical University Vienna, Vienna 1190, Austria
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  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2017-10-12 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bimo-2017-0002


An analysis of biological effects induced by environmental toxins and exposure-related evaluation of potential risks for health and environment represent central tasks in classical biomonitoring. While epidemiological data and population surveys are clearly the methodological frontline of this scientific field, cellbased in vitro assays provide information on toxin-affected cellular pathways and mechanisms, and are important sources for the identification of relevant biomarkers. This review provides an overview on currently available in vitro methods based on cultured cells, as well as some limitations and considerations that are of specific interest in the context of environmental toxicology. Today, a large number of different endpoints can be determined to pinpoint basal and specific toxicological cellular effects. Technological progress and increasingly refined protocols are extending the possibilities of cell-based in vitro assays in environmental toxicology and promoting their increasingly important role in biomonitoring.

Keywords : in vitro assay; cell culture; environmental toxicology; basal endpoints; specific endpoints; cell viability; genotoxicity; carcinogenicity; cellular stress factors; biomonitoring


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About the article

Received: 2017-07-18

Accepted: 2017-08-22

Published Online: 2017-10-12

Published in Print: 2017-10-26

Citation Information: Biomonitoring, Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 11–26, ISSN (Online) 2300-4606, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bimo-2017-0002.

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