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Table 5 Available in vitro systems for potential target organs

From: Principles for characterizing the potential human health effects from exposure to nanomaterials: elements of a screening strategy

Target Organ Cell/Tissue Type Effect Endpoint Research Gap
Endothelium Endothelial cells (e.g. HUV-EC-C) Cytotoxicity Cell viability – MTT, neutral red, trypan blue Apoptosis  
   Homeostasis Oxidative stress, gene expression profile Additional markers?
   Translocation Permeability assays  
Blood Red blood cells, platelets, bone marrow (megakaryocytes) Inflammation/Immune response Platelet activation  
    Cytokine/chemokine release from leukocytes  
    Oxidative stress  
    Complement activation  
   RBC/particle interactions   Markers?
Liver Hepatocytes Toxicity Cell viability – MTT, neutral red, trypan blue Apoptosis  
  Kupffer cells Inflammation Cytokine profile, oxidative stress, signal transduction pathway, gene expression  
   Coagulation Von Willebrand factor, tissue factor  
  Isolated perfused liver slices Translocation, distribution Histopathology Translocation process
  Liver slices Toxicity studies Cytotoxicity, P450 assay, ATP assays, GSH content Additional markers? Genomics, Proteomics?
  Collagen sandwich cultures Toxicity studies Cytotoxicity, P450 assay, ATP assays, GSH content Additional markers? Genomics, Proteomics?
Spleen Lymphocytes Immune response Cytokine profile  
Central and peripheral nervous system Neuronal cells Toxicity Cytotoxicity – Trypan blue, LDH Apoptosis  
   Inflammation Cytokine profile, oxidative stress, signal transduction pathway, gene expression  
   Translocation Gene expression, microscopic examination  
  Astroglial, Microglial cells Inflammation Cytokine profile, oxidative stress, signal transduction pathway, gene expression  
Heart Cardiomyocytes Toxicity Cytotoxicity – Trypan blue, LDH Apoptosis  
   Inflammation Cytokine profile, oxidative stress, signal transduction pathway, gene expression  
   Function Beat – rhythm testing  
Kidney Cell (e.g. HK-2, MDCK, LCC-PK1) Toxicity Cytotoxicity – Trypan blue, LDH Apoptosis  
   Inflammation Cytokine profile, oxidative stress, signal transduction pathway, gene expression  
   Translocation Permeability assays Additional markers?
  Kidney slices Toxicity Cytotoxicity – Trypan blue, LDH Apoptosis  
   Inflammation Cytokine profile, oxidative stress, signal transduction pathway, gene expression  
   Translocation Permeability assays Additional markers?