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Possible developments in neurotoxicity testing in vitro

Harvey, A L (1988) Possible developments in neurotoxicity testing in vitro. Xenobiotica, 18 (6). pp. 625-632. ISSN 0049-8254

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Abstract

1. Many different chemical compounds produce a range of neurotoxic effects. They do not share a common mechanism and there is no single universally applicable test for neurotoxicity. 2. Testing for neurotoxicity in vivo is not always completely reliable, and many neurotoxic effects are still discovered following accidental exposure to humans. 3. Given the complexity of neurotoxins and their effects in vivo and the difficulties of elucidation of such effects in vivo, there is a place for the use of simple in vitro model systems in neutrotoxicity testing. 4. Various preparations of invertebrate neurones have been used in toxicological studies because of the similarities in basic neuronal properties between invertebrates and higher species. Mammalian nerve cells can be grown in culture and they are suitable for biochemical and electrophysiological experiments. Such neuronal cultures could also be adapted for toxicological studies. Cultures of continuous cell lines would probably be more convenient than primary cultures. 5. Future developments should concentrate on the establishment of a battery of human hybrid cell lines and of a range of biochemical assays. After validation by experiments with a series of known neurotoxins, such cultures would be suitable for neurotoxicological tests.