Spec. Issue 2006 - Article Summary

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Metabolic activation for in vitro systems

Angelika Langsch and Heinz Nau
Department of Food Toxicology, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Germany
Summary
A significant portion of substances is not directly toxic, but must be activated to reactive metabolites. For most compounds it is unknown if metabolic activation plays a role. In vitro systems presently can only determine the toxicological potential of the parent drugs, and
not that of potentially toxic metabolites. The development of metabolic systems which can be incorporated within a particular in vitro technique is therefore of high priority. Ideally, the in vitro system should express all relevant enzymatic activities, because it is a priori not known which enzyme(s) are involved. Also, the metabolic system must be compatible with the in vitro assay. Main emphasis is placed on liver preparations as the liver exhibits the highest amount and complexity of metabolic enzymes.

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