Assessment of nanomaterial-induced hepatotoxicity using a 3D human primary multi-cellular microtissue exposed repeatedly over 21 days - the suitability of the in vitro system as an in vivo surrogate

Ali Kermanizadeh, Trine Berthing, Ewa Guzniczak, Melanie Wheeldon, Graeme Whyte, Ulla Vogel, Wolfgang Moritz, Vicki Stone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

BACKGROUND: With ever-increasing exposure to engineered nanomaterials (NMs), there is an urgent need to evaluate the probability of consequential adverse effects. The potential for NM translocation to distal organs is a realistic prospect, with the liver being one of the most important target organs. Traditional in vitro or ex vivo hepatic toxicology models are often limiting (i.e. short life-span, reduced metabolic activity, lacking important cell populations, etc.). In this study, we scrutinize a 3D human liver microtissue (MT) model (composed of primary hepatocytes and non-parenchymal cells). This unique experiment benefits from long-term (3 weeks) repeated very low exposure concentrations, as well as incorporation of recovery periods (up to 2 weeks), in an attempt to account for the liver's recovery capacity in vivo. As a means of assessing the toxicological potential of NMs, cell cytotoxicity (cell membrane integrity and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) activity), pro/anti-inflammatory response and hepatic function were investigated. RESULTS: The data showed that 2 weeks of cell culture might be close to limits before subtle ageing effects start to overshadow low sub-lethal NM-induced cellular responses in this test system (adenylate kinase (AK) cytotoxicity assay). We showed that in vitro AST measurement are not suitable in a nanotoxicological context. Moreover, the cytokine analysis (IL6, IL8, IL10 and TNF-α) proved useful in highlighting recovery periods as being sufficient for allowing a reduction in the pro-inflammatory response. Next, low soluble NM-treated MT showed a concentration-dependent penetration of materials deep into the tissue. CONCLUSION: In this study the advantages and pitfalls of the multi-cellular primary liver MT are discussed. Furthermore, we explore a number of important considerations for allowing more meaningful in vitro vs. in vivo comparisons in the field of hepatic nanotoxicology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number42
JournalParticle and Fibre Toxicology
Volume16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Nov 2019

Keywords

  • 3D primary human multi-cellular liver microtissue
  • In vitro hepatotoxicology
  • In vitro vs. in vivo comparisons
  • Kupffer cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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