Human Liver Hepatocytes- An Emerging Tool for Drug Toxicity Studies?

Many newly developed medications turn out to be harmful even after being released onto the market due to unanticipated side effects. These adverse medication responses result in major health problems for patients, as well as financial losses for the pharmaceutical industry owing to drug withdrawal from the market once the licence expires.

Adverse drug responses come in a variety of forms, based on the organ system in the body that is impacted. Drug-induced liver toxicity and acute liver failure are the most common grounds for a drug’s discontinuation from the market.

The liver’s role in drug metabolism

When a pharmaceutical product is introduced into the body, it is processed in several locations throughout the body, including the gut wall, lungs, kidneys, and plasma. Nonetheless, since the liver is engaged in metabolising foreign substances, it is a key target for drug toxicity. The way drugs are removed from the body is determined by their metabolism in the liver. Drugs can also operate as a promoter or inhibitors of drug metabolism enzymes in the liver, affecting drug absorption further. As a result, studying drug-liver interactions and their potential hepatotoxicity is crucial for the development of novel drugs or extending the therapeutic value of existing drugs.

Applications of Primary Hepatocytes

Due to changes in the metabolic pathways of the liver in various animals, evidence from preclinical research is limited. Researchers and pharmaceutical companies use alternative liver models for research, such as microsomes, transfected cell lines, and primary human hepatocytes, to circumvent the limitations of animal experiments. In the pharmaceutical sector, cultured hepatocytes are becoming increasingly popular for assessing the hepatotoxic potential of novel compounds. Hepatocytes are a biologically relevant cell type that has all of the necessary enzymes, transporters and co-factors, as well as a drug metabolism setting that closely resembles that of the liver in vivo. Because primary hepatocytes in culture retain important liver activities, they are a useful tool for detecting chemically induced cell injury.

The application of primary hepatocytes or liver cells in studies has made a substantial contribution to our understanding of the effects and causes behind hepatotoxicity (disruption of metabolic activation, cellular energy, oxidative stress, etc.). Through the use of primary hepatocytes, novel medications may be rejected much sooner if they are toxic, resulting in a decline in the number of animal tests and future clinical trials. Primary cells will be useful in the realm of customised treatment as well. Primary cells obtained from the patient will be utilised to assess the safety and efficacy of therapy in a specific patient.

To summarise, freshly separated primary human hepatocytes are the best choice for studying drug metabolism and toxicity since they retain the majority of the in vivo functions of the liver.

If you are looking for primary cells for your research, then connect with us now at You can also call us on +91–9654321400 for more information on primary cells and stem cell research.

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