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Adeli Lab

Environmental toxicity

Molecular Mechanisms of Environmental Toxicity in Human Cell Culture Model System

Increasing public interest in environmental health issues has created a demand for alternatives to using animals for assessing the toxic effects of chemical mixtures on humans. Our laboratory has been involved in developing in vitro toxicological screening methods developed for human health biomonitoring using cultured clonal cell lines.

Toxicity testing using cell lines provides a mechanism to quantify the risks associated with environmental exposure to chemical mixtures. In this direction, we have developed and published a number of toxicological assays using the human liver cell line, HepG2. These assays include methods to detect acute toxicity (cytotoxicity and enzyme induction) as well as chronic alterations in cell function (DNA synthesis, and DNA strand breakage).

This battery of tests allow the rapid determination of the toxicity potential of environmental samples and thus can act as an excellent screening tool for environmental assessments. We have also recently extended these studies and developed an ex vivo test of DNA damage in peripheral lymphocytes obtained from human subjects.

In this assay, the heath of DNA in while blood cells is assessed as a marker of the extent of exposure to environmental chemical hazards. The development and application of these environmental health testing systems have attracted considerable attention and have been featured in several newspaper articles and TV programs in US, Canada, and several other countries.